How To Fight Scorpions & Other Beasties

Do-It-Yourself with Products Safe for Family, Pets, and Plants

Living in Phoenix comes with a lot of benefits like no shoveling snow, no icy roads, no heavy coats and mittens, and no hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, wildfires, or ice storms. However, we do get some challenges of the creepy-crawly variety.   Like this scary guy I photographed at work...

  Uuuuughhhhhh...

Uuuuughhhhhh...

On of my co-workers lost a dog to a scorpion sting a couple years back and I've known a few people that got nailed while wearing flip flops. These little tanks are something I don't want to meet face to face. Luckily, the battle waged against these monsters can be a do-it-yourself one. As an added bonus, the stuff I use wipes out a host of other six-legged demons, without endangering pets and people. 

This is a project I wanted do right. I didn't want order deadly products from the internet and start spritzing them around my house. I prefered to go to a local shop where experts know the conditions of my area and can educate me on exactly what to do.

My local expert is  Bug and Weed Mart, with locations all around the Phoenix Metro area. I started this particular battle by arming myself at one of their local stores.

This post is sponsored by Bug and Weed Mart. The opinion and experience is 100% my own.

When I got there, I had a minute to wait while the guy wrapped up with the couple ahead of me. He was teaching them how to combat what sounded like an absolutely horrendous invasion of bed bugs in their triplex. I'm glad you have an option to treat it yourself, but holy cow! I hope I never have to meet those little nightmares on my own turf. 


Mid-Post Field Trip

While I poked around, I was drawn to their Bug Zoo. Apparently, customers bring the various monsters they capture in their homes in to join the other denizens of the desert in alchohol filled jars.

  I don't see the elephant...

I don't see the elephant...

Good lord, check out a Palo Verde Beetle! They're harmless, but seriously big and ugly.

Here are the Scorpions. Nasty little buggers eh?


Getting Schooled

I spent a good amount time with Jim, a really knowledgeable gentleman who taught me the ins-and-outs of Scorpion fighting. He picked out the products and went over all the details, step-by-step.

 Jim, surveying the battlefield.

Jim, surveying the battlefield.

Taking the battle to the homefront

I left confident that I could apply the products safely and easily.  They provided me with a printed action plan, so I wouldn't forget any steps, rates, and mixing ratios. 

OUTDOOR - Granulate

The first product from Bug and Weed Mart was a bag of dry insect control granules.

In addition to my target of scorpions, this stuff is tested to go after a host of other bugs, such as...

Ants, Armyworms, Bermudagrass Mites, Adult Billbugs Boxelder Bugs, Centipedes, Chiggers, Chinch Bugs, Clover Mites, Cockroaches, Crickets, Cutworms, Darkling Ground Beetles, Digger Wasps, Essex Skipper, European Crane Fly Larvae, Field Crickets, Fiery Skipper, Fire Ants, Flea Beetle, Grasshopper, Hyperodes, Japanese Beetle, Lawn Moths, Leafhoppers, Adult Mealybugs, Silverfish, Firebrats, Sod Webworms, Sowbugs, Spiders, Spittlebugs, Springtails, and Vegetable Weevils.

For this application, the granules needed to be spread about every other month, creating a light barrier about two to five feet wide, from all the exterior walls. They can be applied with a simple, handheld garden spreader, but it's not necessary for a smaller house like ours. I cut down a plastic cup from a gas station slushy drink to use as a disposable shaker / spreader. 

The granules are safe enough to work with, but I wore some disposable gloves, didn't shake it around my face or breath any dust, and somehow managed to hold off on eating a sandwich while I worked with the insecticide. Willpower. Sheer willpower.

The granules were a consistency like coarse sand, but lighter weight. 

I walked the entire perimeter of the house, sifting the granules in a light spread about 5 feet wide. I hit each area from a couple angles to make sure I got even coverage.

It was a nice, light barrier, nothing crazy. 

The exterminating instructions from Bug and Weed Mart gave a few additional targets to focus on:

  1. Grass, shrubbery, flowerbeds, planter boxes and potted plants
  2. The water meter and sprinkler valve boxes
  3. A one inch barrier along the outside edge of the driveway, patio, sidewalk and other slabs
  4. Ground covering plants, bark and mulch beds
  5. Gravel, rocks, and along pool decking

Those granules didn't burrow underground on their own to get at the beasties, like bunker-buster bombs. They needed to be dissolved and soaked-in to meet the crawly rascals where they live. The granule field just needed a good soaking. Luckily we'd been getting some regular (and rare) rain, so the ground was already soft.

The granules disappeared, off to do their job without a complaint, after a few seconds of hosing. 

Outdoor - Spray

Bug and Weed Mart also sent me home with a liquid concentrate to spray the house itself.

The stuff has a cool measuring device built into the container.

When I was ready to mix my outdoor recipe of 2 oz of concentrate per 1 gallon of water, I just filled the reservoir to the mark without needing a measuring cup.

bbDSC_9189.jpg

The concentrate got mixed with a gallon of water in the pump sprayer I picked up from Bug and Weed Mart.

The instructions say I need to do this treatment once a month. Again, I was provided with the targets:

  1. Two feet up the wall and two feet out on the slab, around the base of the house.
  2. All sides of the window frames and doors 
  3. The patios, sidewalks, and eaves
  4. The interior and exterior of storage sheds
  5. The point that the house and fence meet
  6. The garage, including all 4 sides of the door frame, the bottom of the door and the baseboards inside

I installed the fan pattern tip on the sprayer wand and got to work.

Official AZ DIY Guy Slideshow of Extermination Action

Indoor- Spray

Inside, it took a slightly more diluted mix, only 1 of concentrate oz per gallon.  After any cleaning, mopping, or vacuuming, the baseboards of every room get hit, along with closets, and under the sink.

Piece of cake, right? I probably wouldn't hose down your eating utensils or anything and you do need to keep children and pets away from everything you treated until it dries. Beyond that, done deal!

That's how I DIY'd our scorpion (and other creepy crawly) treatment. It's a bit of work, but not difficult at all. To do this particular treatment routine, it will probably run me about $72 / year versus hiring a service at maybe $800 / year for a far less attentive application that I'll do myself.  No brainer. 

Make sure to read and follow all the instructions on whatever products are needed for your application. Get professional advice when using professional products.

Support your local merchants for in-person, expert instruction and the proper products to DIY your own exterminating work. In the Phoenix area, be sure to visit my friends at Bug and Weed Mart. I'm sure they'd treat you right.

 
BugWeedMart.png
 

This post is sponsored by Bug and Weed Mart. The opinion and experience is 100% my own.