As summer temperatures rise to extreme levels in Arizona, scorpions tend to find their way inside our homes. For our curious pets, this means that playtime with an odd arachnid can result in a yelp, high-pitched meow, and an unfortunate sting.
Pets can be curious animals that play with insects or critters, making them highly susceptible to being stung. In Arizona, this is a major concern as we are home to the bark scorpion, the most venomous in America, and the farmland in our surrounding Valley areas often attracts plenty of them.
As experts in scorpion pest control, here at Scorpion Repel, we’ve seen a multitude of scenarios regarding pets. Here are four tips in case your pet is stung by a scorpion.
There are small things that residents can do to help keep scorpions off the property. Scorpions need food and water like the rest of us. Homeowners should know that scorpions love to feed on crickets, spiders and roaches. To avoid scorpions, homeowners should hire a professional for these and remove tempting food for bugs. For example, those area homes with palm trees are the perfect spot for scorpions to reside and feast, and orange trees attract bugs which will attract more scorpions.
Homeowners should also check that no foliage is touching the house as this becomes a ladder for scorpions to come inside. A good rule of thumb is to keep a 6-inch clearance from all vegetation around your home and make sure tree limbs are not growing over your roof, allowing critters to fall onto your home. Seal up every possible entry and be sure to check all nooks and crannies. Scorpions are known for getting into very small cracks, even as slim as a credit card.
If possible, keep an open area available for your pets. This area in your yard is dedicated for your pets to explore and run around in and doesn’t have wood piles, debris or other harborage areas where scorpions love to hang.
How to know if a scorpion is in your home
It would be ideal to know when scorpions enter your home before they become a threat. The best way for homeowners to know if they have a scorpion infestation or not is to check outside at night. Scorpions, especially bark scorpions, are most active at night crawling across rocks and on walls. Using a black light, a homeowner can inspect their yard and if they come across a scorpion, it will glow with the black light.
What to do if your pet is stung
Like human scorpion stings, the reaction to a sting is different for every pet. While scorpion stings can be wildly uncomfortable and extremely painful, it is uncommon for a scorpion sting to be fatal. The most important thing is to seek professional help immediately. Visit your local veterinarian promptly if your pet has been stung by a scorpion.
If your pet yelps, paws at their face or a particular area, limps or behaves differently, they might have been stung.
It’s always better to err on the side of caution and seek professional help immediately.
Symptoms to keep an eye on
Symptoms of a scorpion sting include lethargic behavior, swelling, vomiting, convulsions and foaming at the mouth in extreme cases. Pet owners could be concerned if a pet is rapidly breathing, has bizarre eye movements or is walking in a “drunken” manner. Pets should be taken for emergency treatment in these cases. Different pet species and the size of pets can vary in reactions and the severity of a sting. Have your vet’s number ready on hand in the case of an emergency.
Taking preventative measures and extra precaution is key to ensuring that a sting doesn’t happen in the first place. Scorpion Repel advises sealing your home and keeping foliage and debris away from your home. The best sealant measure is to apply Scorpion Repel, a patented, one-time application, pesticide-free, scorpion repellent that will permanently seal scorpions out of your home.
Visit our website at scorpionrepel.com or call 480-662-1171 for more information.
David Gilmer is chief operating officer of Scorpion Repel of the East Valley.