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The East Valley is home to a variety of pests, including a couple of different types of scorpions. Today, we decided to cover a particularly interesting species of scorpion: the Arizona Desert Hairy Scorpion.
It’s large and aggressive in behavior, so it appears scary. But its venom is weak compared to other scorpions, so its “bite” doesn’t quite live up to its “bark”.
The Arizona Desert Hairy Scorpion is often touted as the largest scorpion on the continent. And it’s true! Ranging in size up to about six inches, its looks are definitely intimidating. It is also covered in little brown hairs it uses to detect its surroundings (hence the “hairy” part of its name) . So if you’re in Arizona, and you’re looking at a 5-6”-long scorpion covered in brown hair, you’re likely looking at an Arizona Desert Hairy Scorpion.
It depends on what you consider “dangerous”. Their venom is not the most poisonous of all of the species of scorpion, so it’s highly unlikely that they could kill you or your family – or even do any long term damage. However, they are highly aggressive and quick to resort to stinging. And if you do get stung, it’s definitely going to hurt for a while. But once the pain subsides, you will be fine. (Unless you are allergic – in that case, seek medical attention right away!)
Like most species of scorpion, they are nocturnal and prefer to remain unseen and protected during the day. They prefer to burrow for cover, but are not averse to hiding under rocks and other shaded areas if it suits their purpose. If you think you may have them in your home, take extra care to check and shake out your shoes and clothing before getting dressed. Shoes and dressers make for awesome hiding places. If you put an article of clothing on that they are hiding in, you can rest assured you WILL get stung! An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure here.
Due to their large size, these scorpions can afford to be somewhat cannibalistic. They will eat other scorpions without hesitation. But they will also feed upon arachnids and other pests, including spiders and centipedes, and have even been known to eat small rodents! For this reason, proper pest control is vital. Not only to handle the scorpion problem directly, but also to minimize their prey options – one of the main things that can attract them in the first place. The presence of other bugs in your home could further entice scorpions to take residence with you as well.