BY: COURTNEY GILSTRAP LEVINUS
Spring and summer in Arizona bring out a number of annoying bugs and pests. Our state sees more pests because of the mild temperature changes, climate and diverse landscapes. By far, the one we seem to dread the most is scorpions. These indigenous pests not only look scary, their sting can be incredibly painful. The most common scorpion that we see in Arizona, the Bark Scorpion, is toxic to humans and pets. The smaller the insect, the more likely it is to sting. The babies tend to strike more often than the adult scorpions.
March and April see warming temperatures here and this tends to be a time when scorpions become more active. They are looking for food and water. Many apartment communities treat their communities for pests during this season to help keep them away. These treatments may move them into your homes to escape the chemicals. They can easily slide in under doors and small cracks. Scorpions have the ability to condense their bodies down to the width of a credit card.
If you see a scorpion in your home, it’s best to try and safely kill it or ask for help from your maintenance team immediately. Relocating them outside doesn’t help to control the population. If you see more than 10 in your community, it may be best to ask for professional help. You may also need to have the interior of your apartment home treated by a licensed applicator. Most apartment companies ask residents not to treat their own homes, as over-the-counter products may conflict with the professional treatments the community is utilizing.
Self-treatment of the exterior should be avoided since overuse of pesticides may be harmful to humans and pets. These areas should be treated by licensed professionals contracted by the management company. Your management company may share the comprehensive treatment plan to help residents. These plans may show you where some of the high activity locations are since scorpions are very territorial.
When you are home, check where you are walking and shake out shoes before putting them on (especially if they are left outside). You are most likely to find these pests after dark, in low traffic areas and where other insect activity exists as their food source. If you can reduce clutter on the patio or balcony, and use a blacklight to spot scorpions, you might be able to avoid them. Scorpions are phosphorescent and glow under the ULV light. A keen eye for these light-colored pests could save you some pain and suffering.
The Arizona Multihousing Association is the statewide trade association for the apartment industry, representing more than 2,000 members in legislative, legal and regulatory matters.
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