Pest Control for Scorpions Guide: How To Get Rid of Scorpions (Repellent) 

Georgette Kilgore headshot, wearing 8 Billion Trees shirt with forest in the background.Written by Georgette Kilgore

Pest Control | April 2, 2024

Man on the floor fighting to establish pest control for scorpions after learning how to get rid of scorpions, when to call an exterminator for scorpions, prevention tips and removal.

Between 70 and 75 different types of scorpions live in the United States,1 primarily in the Southwest deserts, where pest control for scorpions is frequently in high demand.

Scorpions are nocturnal predators with painful stings and practically nobody wants to find them in or around their house.

Fortunately, they can be removed.

This guide explains how to get rid of scorpions in and around your home and also how to know when to call a professional for pest control for scorpions.

Is a Scorpion an Insect?

Because they’re pests, many people lump scorpions in with insects like cockroaches. In reality, though, scorpions are not insects, they’re arachnids.2



Scorpion in an oval frame on a green background.
  • Description: With eight legs, they are distinguished by their grasping pincers and a tail that curves to a stinger.
  • Natural Habitat: Deserts, grasslands and tropical rainforests
  • Locations: All continents except Antarctica, with most residing in deserts

Image Credit: 4133024

Are Scorpions Poisonous?

Scorpions are venomous. However, only 25 of the world’s species are considered lethal to humans.3 Most of these species are found outside of the United States as well.

What Attracts Scorpions?

If you live in an area where scorpions are prevalent, such as the southern or southwestern United States, you’re more likely to encounter them than those located in other areas.

Graphic showing what attracts scorpions, with images for moisture, insects, rotting wood/leaves, darkness, citrus trees, unsealed cracks, and new developments.

However, your chances go up even more if any of the following factors are present in your home or on your property.


Scorpions are attracted to moist areas.13 Like any other creature, they need water to survive, and if they can find an easily accessible supply on your property, they will congregate around that area.

Scorpions typically find their way into your home through pipe drains and other parts of the plumbing system. That’s why they often show up in your kitchen or bathroom.


Scorpions can go a long time without food, but they still need to eat, and insects are often their first choice.14 If you have issues with other insects in your home or around your property, especially if you don’t act to control them quickly, you might unknowingly be creating an all-you-can-eat buffet for scorpions.

Rotting Wood/Leaves

Scorpions are more likely to set up shop outdoors than in your home, especially if you have a hospitable yard for them. If you have rotting wood, decaying leaves, or other types of damp natural material (straw, mulch, etc.) on your property, you’re probably creating cozy hiding places for scorpions.


Scorpions don’t want to spend time roasting in the heat any more than you do. They generally look for dark places (such as an untouched corner of your basement or a pile of wood in your backyard) to rest during the day and preserve water. They then come out at night to hunt when it’s cooler.

Citrus Trees

Some scorpions, the Arizona Bark scorpion, in particular, are drawn to citrus trees, which provide a dark, moist environment for them to thrive. If you have citrus trees on your property, you’re more likely to deal with a scorpion problem.

This doesn’t mean you have to chop down your lemon and orange trees, but you should be aware and take steps to prevent scorpions from showing up.

Unsealed Cracks

Like other animals, scorpions are opportunistic. If they can find easy access to a cool, dark place where they can seek refuge from the elements, they’re going to take advantage of it.

Unsealed cracks and openings around your home may seem minor to you, but they look like gaping doorways for scorpions (and other pests) to crawl through.

New Developments

Technically, new developments don’t attract scorpions. However, scorpions can be territorial creatures and are not always easily enticed to relocate.

If you live in a new building that was built in an area previously occupied by scorpions, those arachnids are unlikely to recognize you as the owner and will often stick around.

What Should I Do If I See a Scorpion?

While not all scorpions are harmful to humans, many are, so you must tread carefully if you come across one.

If you have spider spray or one of the DIY scorpion removal treatments mentioned above on hand, you can use that to immobilize and potentially kill it. You can also try to trap it (but be sure to wear protective gloves and long sleeves before attempting this).

If you don’t want to engage at all, your best bet is to call an exterminator.

10 Most Common Types of Scorpions in the U.S.

U.S. residents are more likely to encounter certain types of scorpions.

These varieties are further discussed in the table below.

Scorpion TypeScientific NameDescriptionStingerHarmful to HumansSting SymptomsLocation
1. False Scorpions4*Has a large number of  genera
Most common: Chelifer cancroides
Tiny (about ⅛ of an inch) and reddish-brown
Pincers twice as long as its legs
NoNoN/AFound throughout the United States
2. Northern Scorpion 5Paruroctonus boreusTan body with dark brown stripes on its back
Large round pincers
YesYesLocalized numbness that lasts around four hoursFound in the Western United States and Western Canada
3. Striped Bark Scorpion 6Centruroides vittatusYellow to light tan in color
Broad black band along the top of the abdomens
YesYesPain and swellingFound in the Southern United States and the Rocky Mountain region
4. Southern Unstriped Scorpion7Vaejovis carolinianusDark reddish-brown body and pincers pincers
Short, tan legs
Wide tail with a large stinger
YesYesSwelling, redness, pain, and tendernessFound in the Southeastern United States
5. Giant Whip Scorpion20Mastigoproctus giganteusBlack
Antenna-like front legs
Long, thin tail
NoNoN/AFound in the Southern United States
Graphic displaying the most common types of scorpions in the US, including pseudoscorpion, northern scorpion, striped bark scorpion, southern unstriped scorpion, giant whip scorpion, tailless whip scorpion, lesser stripetail scorpion, Arizona bark scorpion, giant hairy desert scorpion, and stripe-tailed scorpion.

(Arizona Bark Scorpion Image: By Rod25 and Stripe-tailed Scorpion Image: Andrew Meeds26)

Scorpion TypeScientific NameDescriptionStingerHarmful to HumansSting SymptomsLocation
6. Tailless Whip Scorpion8AmblypygiDark brown to blackish-brown
Large, wide, and flat body
Skinny legs and pincers
Blunt tail
NoNoN/AFound in the Southern United States
7. Lesser Stripetail Scorpion9Hoffmannius coahuilaeSmall bodies
Yellow-brown color
Four dark brown stripes under the tail
Smooth pincers
YesYesIntense pain that lasts around 30 minutesFound in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado
8. Arizona Bark Scorpion10Centruroides SculptuatuasYellow, tan, or brown
Two stripes on the abdomen
Large pincers
YesYes (most venomous scorpion in the United States)Sharp pain that lasts around 30 minutes
For those allergic to this scorpion’s sting, symptoms include severe abdominal pain, nausea, seizures, and difficulty breathing
Found in Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, and California
9. Giant Hairy Desert Scorpion11Hadrurus arizonensisLarge, hairy, and yellow
Grab-like claws
Bristly tail
YesYesLocal pain, similar to a honey bee sting
This scorpion’s sting can be fatal to those who are allergic
Found in Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, and California
10. Stripe-tailed Scorpion12Paravaejovis spinigerusYellow-tan
Brownish stripes on the back of the tail
YesNoN/AFound in California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas

Pest Control for Scorpions: How To Kill a Scorpion

You can use a few different DIY methods to kill a scorpion.

A scorpion on a textured surface, positioned near the edge of a crack.

(Image: Wolfgang Hasselmann23)

These are some of the most common solutions:

Spider Spray

Because scorpions are arachnids, they can often be killed or immobilized by the same sprays used to kill and repel spiders. Be careful when using these sprays, though, as they can often be toxic to other animals, including your beloved pets.

Boric Acid/Borax

Boric acid and borax,15 which are often used in laundry detergent and other household cleaners, will slowly dehydrate and eventually kill scorpions.

The problem, though, is that this process takes time, and scorpions can still sting throughout it. You must take care to keep your pets away from boric acid, too, as it’s harmful to them if they eat or inhale it.

Rodent Traps

In some cases, you can use rodent traps to attract, catch, and immobilize large scorpions. Place these traps near moist areas that scorpions are likely to use as water sources.

Sticky Traps

Sticky traps can also be used to catch scorpions. Place these traps near water sources, as you would with rodent traps.

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is a substance made from the fossilized remains of diatoms,16 which are tiny, aquatic organisms. It has a dehydrating effect that can slowly kill scorpions, similar to boric acid or borax.

Signs You Need a Scorpion Exterminator

The methods shared above can effectively get rid of a scorpion or two. If you have a severe scorpion infestation, though, you’ll likely need you’ll likely need pest control for scorpions.

Here are some signs that indicate you should reach out to an exterminator:

You’ve Seen an Increase in Smaller Insects

If you have an issue with other insects in your home, there’s a chance that scorpions will soon appear (if they aren’t there already). After all, scorpions are opportunists that feed on insects and other small animals.

Calling an exterminator will not only eliminate the other pests from your house and property, but it will give you a chance to get rid of scorpions (or prevent them from showing up in the first place).

You’ve Seen Multiple Scorpions on Your Property

Technically, scorpions are solitary animals.17 However, this principle still applies to them and most pests: If you’ve seen one, there are probably others lurking nearby, or others will be attracted to your property in the near future.

If you’ve seen a couple of scorpions on your property, even if you’ve successfully killed them, it’s a good idea to contact an exterminator.

They can help you identify the issues that are attracting scorpions, such as moisture buildup or piles of debris in your yard, and devise a plan to get rid of them and stop them from returning.

Scorpions Keep Coming Back

Maybe your DIY methods worked at first, but if scorpions seem to keep coming back every couple of months, stop trying to handle the problem on your own. Reach out to an exterminator so they can eliminate the scorpions once and for all.

How To Choose a Scorpion Exterminator

If any of these warning signs mentioned above are relevant to you and your property, it’s time to get serious about hiring an exterminator.

A scorpion exterminator holding a large scorpion by its tail.

(Image: Sippakorn Yamkasikorn22)

The following tips will help you pick a qualified and skilled scorpion exterminator:

Make Sure They Have Experience in Pest Control for Scorpions

If you live in a place like Texas or Arizona, you won’t have to look too hard to find an exterminator with experience getting rid of scorpions (in fact, it would be harder to find someone who didn’t have that experience).

If you live in an area that doesn’t see a lot of scorpion activity, though, be sure to ask the exterminator if they’ve dealt with a scorpion infestation before. Otherwise, they might not know the most effective method for eliminating them.

Check Their Schedule

The longer you go without addressing a scorpion issue, the worse it will get (and the more likely you or your family members are to get stung by one). Look for an exterminator who can get to your property as soon as possible.

Read Reviews

Reading reviews will help you find an exterminator with a good reputation and one that uses methods that genuinely work.

Get a Quote

Get quotes from a few different exterminators, if possible. That way, you can find the most affordable team that also offers quality service.

Remember, that price isn’t the only factor that matters, but it’s still helpful to compare to ensure you aren’t overpaying.

How Do I Prevent Scorpions From Coming Back?

To protect your home from scorpions,18 keep your yard clean and move all trash, logs, boards, etc., away from your home’s foundation. Prune tree branches and shrubs away from the home as well, as they can serve as convenient pathways for scorpions to sneak inside.

You can also install weatherstripping around doors and windows to prevent scorpions and other pests from slipping through the gaps. Fill in other gaps, especially around the roof eaves or pipes, with caulk, too.

Be sure to address moisture as well. Check your pipes and the spaces under your sinks to ensure there aren’t any leaks or standing water that could attract scorpions; this is crucial for effective pest control for scorpions.

Frequently Asked Questions About Pest Control for Scorpions

Does Vinegar Kill Scorpions?

Vinegar does not typically kill scorpions. However, it can be an effective repellent, so spraying it around your home may help to keep scorpions at bay.

What Are the Average Scorpion Exterminator Prices?

The national average for scorpion extermination is $250.19 At a minimum, you should expect to pay around $100, but for severe infestations, you may spend closer to $500.


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