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Life cycle: Arizona bark scorpions have a gestation period of several months, are born live, and are gently guided onto their mother's back. The female usually gives birth to between 25–35 young, and the young will remain with their mother until their first molt, up to 3 weeks after birth. Arizona bark scorpions may live up to 6 years. While nearly all scorpions are solitary, the Arizona bark scorpion is a rare exception: during winter, packs of 20 to 30 scorpions can congregate.
Habitat: The bark scorpion is particularly well adapted to the desert: layers of fat on its exoskeleton make it resistant to water loss. Nevertheless, bark scorpions hide during the heat of the day, typically under rocks, wood piles, or tree bark. Bark scorpions do not burrow, and are commonly found in homes, requiring only 1/16 of an inch for entry.
Arizona bark scorpions prefer riparian areas with mesquite, cottonwood, and sycamore groves, all of which have sufficient moisture and humidity to support insects and other prey species. The popularity of irrigated lawns, and other systems which increase environmental humidity in residential areas, has led to a massive increase in the number of these animals in some areas.
Venom: The bark scorpion is the most venomous scorpion in North America, and its venom can cause severe pain (coupled with numbness and tingling) in adult humans, typically lasting between 24 to 72 hours. Temporary dysfunction in the area stung is common; e.g. a hand or possibly arm can be immobilized or experience convulsions. It also may cause the loss of breath for a short period of time.
Due to the extreme pain induced, many victims describe sensations of electrical jolts after envenomation. Fatalities from scorpion envenomation in the USA are rare and are limited to small animals (including small pets), small children, and adults with compromised immune systems. Extreme reaction to the venom is indicated by numbness, frothing at the mouth, paralysis, and a neuromotor syndrome that may be confused with a seizure and that may make breathing difficult, particularly for small children.
Two recorded fatalities have occurred in the state of Arizona since 1968; the number of victims stung each year in Arizona is estimated to be in the thousands. In Mexico, more than 100,000 people are stung annually, and during a peak period in the 1980s, the bark scorpion claimed up to 800 lives there.
Never walk around barefoot at night. At about dusk, the scorpions start to come out and look for food and this is one of the best ways to prevent Arizona Bark Scorpion Stings.
Always check your shoes before putting them on in the morning. We kept our shoes on a shoe rack. It makes it just a bit harder for scorpions to get inside of them. Regardless, make sure you always check for them. Carry a blacklight around with you at night if it’s dark in the house and you have to get up. You’ll be able to see scorpions, because they glow green under a blacklight.
If you are worried about scorpions getting into your baby’s or child’s bed, put each leg of the bed inside a smooth, glass mason jar. Scorpions cannot climb up glass. You can also enclose the crib or bed in a net to keep scorpions from falling onto the bed or crib from the ceiling.
Be very careful with clothes you have lying on the floor. I have heard countless stories of people getting stung because a scorpion was in their clothing. It is the perfect place for them to hide. Make sure you shake the clothes out well before you put them on in order to prevent Arizona Bark Scorpion stings.
Be cautious when putting your hands into a dark space, like a kitchen cabinet. Try to look before you reach. Scorpions love wet, damp places. Be careful in the bathroom or the kitchen areas. One time, there was a scorpion curled up on the inside of the shower curtain while I took a shower. Eek!