Scorpions in Arizona
Arizona has it’s share of pest problems and scorpions. Did you know that scorpions are venomous arachnids, and are relative to the spider. They are nocturnal. Scorpions use their venom as a defense mechanism. They take time in their growth years. However, a female scorpion at age two can live without food or water up to 6 months. There are many species that may take 1 to 6 years to reach maturity. On average scorpions may live 3 to 5 years, but some species can live as long as 10 to 15 years (generally not found in AZ).
In Arizona we generally have what’s known as the Arizona Bark Scorpion. When they sting it will cause somewhat of an illness and it’s recommended to call the Poison Control Center. They will ask the right questions to get you the right answers. Fatalities resulting from the venom are rare.
To learn their anatomy and mating read on: The male scorpion will grasps the female’s pincers with his and leads her in a courtship dance that may last for several hours. Look out John Trivolta! In general, the male deposits a sperm packet and maneuvers the female over it. The sperm packet is drawn into the female’s genital opening located near the front on the underside of her abdomen. The female stores the sperm packet, and the sperm is later used to fertilize her eggs. After mating, unless he is quick and able to escape, the male is often eaten by the female. Once the female is impregnated, the gestation period may last several months to a year and a half depending on the species. A single female may produce 25 to 35 young. Scorpions are born live and the young climb onto their mother’s back. The young scorpions remain on their mother’s back until their first molt. They assume an independent existence once they leave their mother’s back. Scorpions molt five or six times until they become full-grown adults.
Scorpions generally hunt at night and use their stinger to paralyze prey. However, if the scorpion is strong enough to overpower its prey, instead of injecting its venom, it will simply hold the prey and eat it alive. This conserves venom, which can take up to 2 weeks to regenerate, during which time the scorpion’s main defense is inactive.
Outdoors during the day, scorpions hide in burrows or debris, under wood, stones, or tree bark, and under floors of buildings in crawl spaces. Indoors scorpions may be found in cracks and crevices of woodwork, behind baseboards, in closets and attics, and inside walls. Scorpions gain entry into buildings through poorly sealed doors and windows, cracks in foundations, attic vents that are not properly screened, and through plumbing and other openings.