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Scorpions and soil condition  RSS feed

 
Tom Connolly
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In researching deserts and desert-like climates, I am finding that they are prone to be "loaded" with scorpions. Further reading tells me that scorpions like the crisp, sandy soil of the deserts. Would gradually changing the soil by adding more organic material help alleviate these poisonous pests? Or would planting simply make more homes for them? I do know that people sometimes raise chickens just for the sake of having scorpion patrol.
 
jimmy gallop
Posts: 196
Location: east and dfw texas
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I've never lived in the desert
I have had scorpions
yes chickens will take care of them
but any thing that they can get in under around ,they have found a home so to answer your question yes it would make more homes for them.
 
terry howard
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I moved a house onto my property in the country and the scorpion invasion began immediately thereafter....I had em in every room, crawling up my bed, kitchen cabinets, bathroom..you name it, there they were.....I have a nice backpack sprayer and even used it inside with the deadliest chemical I could safely use... to no avail...Just when I thought I'd had enough...I put my jeans on one morning and got stung from one of them hiding in the pants leg...
My research led me to a site and they explained that in a home invasion like I had....the home owner must clear all debree away from the home....
Well, I had landscaped the outside of my home with a ton of small boulders that I had collected over the years so I decided to clear them away from the house and sure enough,
It's been 6 months now and I've only seen one baby scorpion since.
 
Abe Connally
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Location: Chihuahua Desert
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scorpions are edible! taste like crab.
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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Location: Phoenix, AZ (9b)
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I do live in a desert and here are some things that have been reported to attract scorpions or agitate existing scorpions:

--disturbing the soil for building (as in a new house or subdivision going up)
--properties where there were old citrus groves seem especially prone to scorpions in the Phoenix area
--if you're out in the desert as opposed to "in town", scorpions will be attracted to water sources, including drip irrigation, tubs, sinks and the like.

Living in downtown Phoenix for the past 16 years, I have never seen a scorpion.

When house-sitting my parent's old house which was in one of the more rural suburbs north of Phoenix, there were some. I always checked the sink and showers before using them. And for some odd reason, both times I had a close encounter with a scorpion in that house, I was switching on a light switch and they were there, on the wall, right next to the switch. The first encounter was with a small one. Small ones are more poisonous but less physically scary. The 2nd time the scorpion was nearly the size of my hand and really gave me a start. However, the big ones are not as poisonous as the little ones. At this house, I also had to watch out around the irrigation systems because sometimes there would be a cluster that would get flushed out when I turned the irrigation on.

My mother has been stung twice - once at their former house out in the boonies, and once in their current house which is a more urban suburb but still near a mountain preserve. Both times, she has encountered the scorpion in the kitchen sink. This neighborhood was built in the 70s and has a lot of citrus trees planted in it. Not sure what the citrus/scorpion connection is but there seems to be one.
 
Tom Connolly
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Deep friend scorpions are kind of nice...crunchy..I have heard that they are even better if breaded. Has anyone ever tried setting scorpion "traps" to attract them to one location and then do away with them? I know for roaches, many pesticide companies make small boxes called roach houses...the roaches walk in for a little nip of gin and never live to tell the story.
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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Location: Phoenix, AZ (9b)
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For the past couple of years here at the State Fair, they've had chocolate coated scorpions on a stick. Gak.
 
Brett Andrzejewski
gardener
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Location: Buffalo, NY
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Perhaps more Survivor Man episodes are in order! Les Stroud would place an empty can buried up to the top in the dirt next to scorpion burrows. The scorpions fall into the can, and can't get out. Next cut off the poisonous stinger with your multi-tool knife. Then eat them raw as Les Stroud did.

I believe in another episode he was overturning logs to get them and skewered them on a metal rod. He cooked them in that episode.

I live in suburban/urban Albuquerque and have never seen one in the city limits. I hike into the desert, mountains and other places and haven't seen them there. I have not done the UV light check, as scorpions tend to be nocturnal and fluorescent. I believe they like sandy soil that has some moisture and organic content. I they cannot make their burrows in true sand.

When I went to Lake Powell I found them (bark scorpions) under almost every single rock. I don't believe bark scorpions make burrows, instead they like rock crevasses, underside of bark and rocks.
 
Ardilla Esch
Posts: 216
Location: Northern New Mexico, Zone 5b
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We get one or two scorpions in the house per year. We just corral them in a yogurt container and transplant them away from the house.

Certainly not the invasion that people in lower deserts see...
 
Kurt Leichtentritt
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We live in Surprise (Phoenix area) and would definitely be considered in town. Unfortunately a few years ago we had a scorpion nest in our backyard and I was finding thirty Bark scorpions a night. Luckily through attrition I was able to kill the nest. We then moved away for a few years, but are now back in the same house.

Since we moved back this year we haven't seen many, I was checking on the garden tonight and saw one and decided to go hunting again and luckily I only found eight adult Bark Scorpions.

This is actually one of the things that has concerned me with trying to start a garden and begin practicing things I need to homestead; I'm very worried that any digging I do will just attract more scorpions.
 
Brett Andrzejewski
gardener
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Location: Buffalo, NY
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Welcome to Permies Kurt!

Let us know if you decided to Survivor Man the situation and start eating them!
 
shauna carr
Posts: 84
Location: Sonoran Desert, USA
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So, this is just my experience in the matter.

We find a couple scorpions a year inside the house, and a few outside the house yearly as well. I'm on the edge of the desert outside Tucson, so wild areas are nearby.
The things that have made scorpions come into the house have been destruction of their homes OUTSIDE the house, because then they start looking for new places to live. This happened when our neighboring property dug up their property to build their house. We had more scorpions in the yard then.

They also follow the food or water (they require actual water sources and do not just get it from their food, like some other desert critters). So if there are insects in your house, the scorpions will follow them in. And if they cannot find water sources OUTside of the house, they may look for them inside the house. Keeping insects out of the house seems to keep the scorpions disinterested, at least in our case it has. Each time we found scorpions in the house, we were finding an increase in other insects first. We also have an outside water source, so that may make a difference.


In re: to soil changes eliminating the scorpions? I think that it actually might, or at least lower the population. I find the scorpions in our yard under rock or brush in the areas that are still more desert-like. I have not found any scorpions in the areas that now have more moisture retention (but not pooled water). It doesn't seem to make an appealing home for them.

However, if you can tolerate them, they do a pretty good job of killing some of the insects you DON'T want around. Some of the bigger ones will even kill rodents, which for me is a huge plus. I think a huge nest would be an issue, but if it's just a few out in the yard, they are actually pretty easy to get along with as long as you aren't walking around barefoot (and really, in the desert, you're usually not). I just note the couple of rocks they are hanging out under and we leave each other be.

Oh, for protecting the house from 'em, possibly diatomaceous earth might be a potential solution.
 
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