cetepide

Scorpions are arachnids and are related to spiders and ticks. They have a very distinctive look with large pinchers on their arms and a long, curved tail. They typically prefer dry, rocky areas but can be found throughout central Texas. The most common variety is the striped bark scorpion. They are a nuisance when they come into homes because they will sting when disturbed. While the sting can be painful it is not dangerous unless one is allergic to them. Making a paste out of a protein digestive enzyme and rubbing it on the sting can dissolve the sting, reducing the pain. 

Centipedes are worm-like with a set of legs on each segment. They can range in color from brown to red to bluish-green.  They can be quite large (6 – 8 inches here in Texas), very brightly colored and run very fast.  They are rarely seen which is fortunate as the bite of larger species can cause discomfort.

The two species of spiders that can cause the most harm in central Texas are the Black Widow spider and the Brown Recluse spider. The Black Widow is not commonly found in homes. Typically they are found in cavities outdoors or in structures that are open to the outdoors. The results of their bite can be very significant but of reported bites only 5% prove to be fatal.

The Brown Recluse spider can be a serious problem if it infests a home; fortunately this is rare. They are a light brown color, about the size of a quarter or half dollar and usually have the dark violin shaped mark of the back of the front portion of the body. Outdoors they are typically found in piles of discarded junk and areas that are seldom disturbed. Indoors, they are most common in cluttered closets, garages, crawl-spaces, and attics. Cleanliness may bet he best way to control the Brown Recluse.  Vacuum thoroughly and eliminate unnecessary clutter.  Brown recluse spiders can be found in and around boxes stored in closets and attics; boxes can be taped shut to avoid this.
For scorpions, centipedes and large spiders, we build on the general pest control service by dusting the attic space with boric acid and Eco Dust. We stuff the weep holes in the brick or stone around the exterior of the home with wire mesh to prevent entry. Once they enter, they make their way into the attic space and then down into the home through fans and light fixtures.

What can you do to discourage these pests from entering:

  • Remove all trash, logs, boards, stones, bricks and other objects from around the structure.
  • Keep grass closely mowed near the structure. Prune bushes and overhanging tree branches away from the structure. Tree branches can give scorpions a path to the roof.
  • Store garbage containers in a frame that keeps them above ground level.
  • Never bring firewood inside the structure unless it is placed directly on the fire.
  • Install weather-stripping around loose-fitting doors and windows.
  • Plug weep holes in stone or brick veneer structures with steel wool, copper mesh, pieces of nylon scouring pad, or small squares of screen wire. (Steel wool will rust when wet, so it should be used only on dark-colored facades.)
  • Use sealant around roof eaves, pipes, and any other cracks into the structure.
  • Keep window screens in good repair. Make sure they fit tightly in the window frame.