The Q&A Archives: Getting rid of Scorpions

Question: What is good for getting rid of SCORPIONS, I have alot of scorpions around my flower bed and they get inside my house, especially during this season, March thru October.
I also have alot of little nats around my house plants how do I get rid of them?

Answer: Only 1 species found in Arizona, the bark scorpion, has venom that can cause medical problems. The best method to keep scorpions out of the house is to control their habitat. The following is taken from University of Arizona Cooperative Extension publication, which you can download. It also contains photos of the bark scorpion for identification as well as details on using blacklights to determine and control the population. Good luck!

* Remove all harborages such as: trash, logs, boards, stones, bricks and other objects from around the building.
* Keep grass closely mowed near the home. Prune bushes and overhanging tree branches away from the structure. Tree branches can provide a path to the roof for scorpions. Minimize low growing ground cover vegetation.
* Store garbage containers in a frame that allows them to rest above ground level.
* Never bring firewood inside the building unless it is placed directly on the fire.
* Install weather-stripping around loose fitting doors and windows.
* Plug weep holes in brick veneer with steel wool, pieces of nylon scouring pad or small squares of screen wire.
* Caulk around roof eaves, pipes and any other cracks into the building.
* Keep window screens in good repair. Make sure they fit tightly in the window frame.
* By managing the scorpion food source, you will manage the scorpion population.

As for the gnats in houseplants, they are called fungus gnats. Fungus gnats are pesky once they get established. They reproduce in the top layers of moist soil. I'm not aware of a chemical that works on them. Before completely repotting, try scraping off several inches of the top soil and letting the plants dry out for a bit. That will get rid of quite a few of them since they won't have moist soil. (Of course, you can't let them dry out too long or it's detrimental for the plants.) Then repot, and try putting some plastic wrap or other barrier over the soil. The good news is that fungus gnats don't live very long. I've also heard from a gardening friend that watering plants with a very dilute soapy water mixture may help, using the original Dawn dish soap (not concentrated). She mixes 1 teaspoon soap to 1 gallon of water.

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