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Scorpions in mulch and rockpiles?  RSS feed

 
gustavo alcantar
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Hola, I'm working on a project in a remote region in Jalisco, Mexico, (arid/semi-arid high altitude drylands) that is known to have a fair amount of scorpions (deadly Centruroides & Vaejovis). We suspect one killed two of our rabbits last week (not sure but we did see one scurry away as we were unstacking their rock den).

We're prepping this large garden site with cardboard, mulch and rock piles for the existing fruit trees, sheet mulching neglected areas, and planting some annual beds with mulch. The site also houses a small preschool and after-school youth program for about 25 indigenous (Huichol) kids. We're getting them involved by planting seeds to grow their own tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce and melon. I've just been researching scorpions after the rabbit incident and have come across information that says they like to hang out under/around moist rock piles and mulch. And that most of their lethal victims are children. Its giving me the willies thinking that if we mulch the kids garden as we're "supposed to", then we're inviting scorpions and putting kids at risk!

I've also read conflicting information that Lavendar does/doesn't help repel scorpions, as well as citronella (which is available)

What is your experience with scorpions? and your opinion about the situation with kids?

thanks!!
 
Morgan Morrigan
Posts: 1400
Location: Verde Valley, AZ.
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Scorpions follow crickets.

When no crickets, they will work down the food chain to smaller bugs.

Crickets are just as hard to get rid of as scorpions, as both of them are off the ground a bit.

They really like sheets of wood, cardboard, and rocks on the ground. That is primary habitat for them. The rock rookeries are hunting grounds.

Boric acid will kill over a month long period, but it kills fungi too.

You can try DE under the sheet mulch, but don't think that will help much.

Get a couple Sawyer Pest vacuum pumps, they seem to pull venom out pretty well for scorps. I think ammonia is the neuturalizer, but maybe it is camphor ? Same one as the wasp stings anyway.

I can't believe they killed the rabbits. Sure they didn't get some jimson weed or aspirin ? Did they appear to dehydrate, or stop breathing ?


Citronella helps with rattlesnakes, as it overwhelms their smell/taste on the tounge, and they can only hunt by heat . But think scorps hunt by vision and vibration.
 
gustavo alcantar
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Morgan, thanks for verifying that scorpions like the standard permie rock/mulch conditions i am setting up... a little re-design necessary. Our rabbits are in large fenced in areas outside near rock walls, stacked blocks, so we didnt actually see them get stung or dying, just found them dead in the morning, two days in a row.

I had a conversation this weekend with a native mexican permie about it and he suggested a solution - very dense BioIntensive planting instead of mulch to keep soil pretty well shaded - without attracting scorpions to that particular area. This sounds like a good solution for certain garden bed areas but the yard is pretty big and it would take thousands of plants to cover all the areas, some of which have very poor soil which prob not support all that plant life right away. So, i will try and read up on particular bio-intensive companion planting combos and prob try the mulch in faroff areas just to see what happens... And we're also trying to build up good soil with Bokashi methods.
 
Morgan Morrigan
Posts: 1400
Location: Verde Valley, AZ.
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I would plant the whole open yard in lemon grass to start with, then carve out sections for beds and intensive tree wells etc.
You can mulch with smaller rocks/gravel. And make sure to put one larger one on top with lichen on it.

Lemon grass should keep away insects, snakes, and mosquitos. Put marigolds along building edges, and scattered along the walls too.
No lights next to doors at night, will bring in the kissing bugs. Marigolds help, but you don't want em setting up camp in the eves..
If windows in doors, cover them from inside. I use the foil covered packing bubble. They will zero in on light, and when you open a door, in they come.... chagas is gnarly.

ammonia is for mosquito bites, the scorp and wasp bites need Camphor.
Premade stuff is called Sting Eze.

 
Cal Burns
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Yeah, have a woody bed with big rocks bordering it on a slope some 25 feet from my house. Have seen scorpions, non-poisonous snakes near our house. Need to think up better solutions. Lemon grass sounds good. Is hard to find locally. Guess I need to start seeding.
 
Genevieve Higgs
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I would love to know what works in these situations. I have a little container garden on my balcony in Venezuela... mulching helps a lot with soil moisture and heat withering, but these nasty clicking ants get in there and it turns out I'm quite allergic. If I remove the tasty mulch the plants can't withstand the conditions, if I spray insect spray the frogs and lizards disappear for months at a time. Right now I'm mulching, using garden gloves and tools but if anyone finds a better option I'm all ears. I thought about only using finished compost covered over with gravel, but haven't tried it yet because of the work involved.
 
Jeffrey Hodgins
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Location: Yucatan Puebla Ontario BC
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Only the big black scorpions are very dangerous, if ther brown or creamy than its like a bee sting.
 
Bill McGee
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Location: Southeastern Connecticut, USA
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Chickens will eat scorpions. (They can get stung and will be paralyzed for awhile- but usually survive)

Cats also can kill them. I saw this on the farm in Nicaragua.
 
Kay Gee
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Only the big black scorpions are very dangerous, if ther brown or creamy than its like a bee sting.

that could be pretty dangerous. there are dangerous dark colored ones and safer light colored ones. many people go by "pincher" sizes, smaller being more poisonous, but in reality unless a person is an arachnid taxonomist or very avid collector and can truly identify them, i would seriously go to the hospital to get checked after a sting.

scorpions will show up in any mulch, no matter what you do. you are creating an environment in which they prefer, so you wont do a lot in preventing them if they are in the area. dry area scorpions will almost always bury or go under for cooler temps and higher humidity. they need it to shed and breed.

you could learn something about your specific area at arachnoboards or similar arachnid forums. Might be good to know what species are in the area beforehand. I am thankful we only have 1 harmless species here. they are quite fascinating animals all around.
 
Bill McGee
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In Nicaragua I got rapped by one. I'm no masochist, but that was exquisite pain. I remember 3 levels of pain. First after I reached into my knapsack I felt a 1" splinter of glass go into my fingertip. I shook out the bag to find the glass, squashed the scorpion. Then it really began to hurt.

The 3rd level of pain had me trembling.
I was on a farm. The treatment was sticking my finger in mud and drinking black coffee (maybe the tetanus bacteria counteracts the venom

Interestingly this year, I work in an ER. 6 weeks after returning from Aruba our unfortunate patient put on a pair of shorts from his luggage, taking a sting to the thigh.

"Jose Jose" the scorpion is still alive and eating crickets. You can see facebook photos of him fluorescing under a UV woods lamp.
 
jesse dylan
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Hey Gustavo. Hope all is well. Do you have a website for your project? I am also in Jalisco looking to learn the does and don't here. Cheers jesse
 
Neda Hall
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I am in Ecuador and am dealing with scorpions (cream colored) and pill/sow bugs. They both are getting into my house. I have spread diatomaceous earth across all of my doorways and it helps some.

My other problems is that I am going to be assembling 4 hot compost piles in my yard. Am I going to have more problems with the bugs and scorpions?? The soil in this yard is clay and is void of everything. I plan tp mulch the whole yard.

SOMEONE PLEASE HELP!
scorpion and pill bug-page0001.jpg
[Thumbnail for scorpion and pill bug-page0001.jpg]
 
Devin Lavign
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Jeffrey Hodgins wrote:Only the big black scorpions are very dangerous, if ther brown or creamy than its like a bee sting.


In Arizona it is the small yellow light brown ones that are dangerous. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arizona_bark_scorpion

The bark scorpion is the most venomous scorpion in North America, and its venom can cause severe pain (coupled with numbness, tingling, and vomiting) in adult humans, typically lasting between 24 to 72 hours. Temporary dysfunction in the area stung is common; e.g. a hand or possibly arm can be immobilized or experience convulsions. It also may cause loss of breath for a short time. Due to the extreme pain induced, many victims describe sensations of electrical jolts after envenomation.

Fatalities from scorpion envenomation in the USA are rare and are limited to small animals (including small pets), small children, the elderly, and adults with compromised immune systems. Extreme reaction to the venom is indicated by numbness, frothing at the mouth, paralysis, and a neuromotor syndrome that may be confused with a seizure and that may make breathing difficult, particularly for small children. Two recorded fatalities have occurred in the state of Arizona since 1968; the number of victims stung each year in Arizona is estimated to be in the thousands. In Mexico, more than 100,000 people are stung annually, and during a peak period in the 1980s, the bark scorpion claimed up to 800 lives there.
 
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