Arizona has the privilege of hosting the most venomous scorpion in the United States, along with the largest scorpion in the country. But those aren’t the only ones in the Grand Canyon State!

What are the four different scorpions that you can find in Arizona, and how can you keep them away from your home or yard? We break it all down for you here.

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The 4 Scorpions Found in Arizona

1. Arizona Bark Scorpion

arizona bark scorpion on the ground
Image Credit: Ernie Cooper, Shutterstock
Species:Centruroides sculpturatus
Longevity:5 to 7 years
Good to own as a pet?:No
Legal to own?:Yes
Adult size:2.5 inches
Diet:Beetles, spiders, crickets, cockroaches, other insects, and scorpions

While the Arizona bark scorpion isn’t the most venomous scorpion in the world, it is the most venomous scorpion found in Arizona and the United States. The venom causes severe pain, numbness, tingling, and vomiting in adults. These symptoms usually subside after 24 to 72 hours, but it’s best to seek medical attention as soon as possible because the stings can sometimes be fatal.

The Arizona bark scorpion is a small light brown scorpion that lives in the Sonoran Desert and feeds on smaller insects and other scorpions. It’s extremely aggressive and territorial, which makes it extremely challenging to own as a pet.

2. Arizona Striped-Tail Scorpion

Side view of an Arizona stripe-tailed scorpion
Image Credit: Ernie Cooper, Shutterstock
Species:Vaejovis coahuilae
Longevity:3 to 8 years
Good to own as a pet?:No
Legal to own?:Yes
Adult size:2.25 inches
Diet:Crickets, roaches, mealworms, and termites

One scorpion that you need to keep an eye out for in the desert is the Arizona striped-tail scorpion. It’s extremely fast and aggressive, which can lead to painful stings. It’s venomous, but the venom doesn’t usually affect humans.

These nocturnal hunters like to burrow during the day, so you need to check shoes and sleeping bags to ensure that they didn’t make it their home for the day. You can identify a striped-tail scorpion by the signature stripes along its tail.

Arizona striped-tail scorpions typically eat smaller insects like crickets, roaches, and termites. They rarely work their way into homes, but you need to keep an eye for them if you’re camping.

3. Yellow Ground Scorpion

Yellow Ground Scorpion
Image Credit: Ernie Cooper, Shutterstock
Species:Vaejovis confusus
Longevity:5 to 7 years
Good to own as a pet?:No
Legal to own?:Yes
Adult size:2.5 inches
Diet:Beetles, spiders, crickets, cockroaches, other insects, and scorpions

The yellow ground scorpion is another scorpion that you can find in southeastern Arizona. It’s extremely similar to the Arizona bark scorpion, but there are distinct differences.

For starters, yellow ground scorpions are not nearly as venomous. While they still carry venom that can kill smaller prey, it’s not particularly harmful to humans. They also have a slightly yellower color, so you can tell the two species apart if you know what to look for.

Another difference is their tails. The yellow ground scorpion’s first two metasomal segments at the tail are as wide as the scorpion is long, while the Arizona bark-tailed scorpion’s segments are skinnier.

You can find these nocturnal hunters in the desert, but they will occasionally wander into backyards or homes looking for food.

4. Arizona Giant Hairy Scorpion

giant desert hairy scorpion
Image Credit: IrinaK, Shutterstock
Species:Hadrurus arizonensis
Longevity:10 to 20 years
Good to own as a pet?:Yes
Legal to own?:Yes
Adult size:7 inches
Diet:Lizards, small mammals, other scorpions, and insects

The largest scorpion in the United States is the Arizona giant hairy scorpion. While other scorpions in Arizona are about 2.5 inches in length, the giant hairy scorpion dwarfs them at 7 inches long.

This scorpion is so massive that it feeds on lizards, small mammals, and smaller scorpions in addition to its diet of insects. It’s extremely aggressive, but while its sting is painful, it is relatively harmless to humans. You might have localized swelling, but that should be the extent of it.

Due to its larger size and the relative harmlessness of its sting, if you want a pet scorpion, the giant hairy scorpion isn’t a bad choice.

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Tips for Keeping Scorpions Out of Your Home and Yard

The best way to keep a scorpion infestation from getting out of hand is to prevent one to begin with. You should remove all the conditions that a scorpion looks for when seeking to make a home.

Here are a few tips that you should follow to make your house and yard less hospitable for scorpions.

  • Remove excess brush and debris. Scorpions need places to hide throughout the day, and extra brush and debris make excellent spaces for them to cool off and avoid the heat.
  • Keep firewood at least 30 feet from your home. We all like a warm fire at night, but firewood is an excellent place for a scorpion to hang out. Keeping your firewood at least 30 feet from your house won’t keep scorpions away from the wood, but it will keep them away from your home.
  • Keep your grass cut. If predators like bats and owls can see scorpions, they’re more likely to eat them. High grass makes this a tougher challenge for the predators and tells the scorpion that it’s a safe place to hang out. Not only does high grass attract scorpions, but it also makes them more challenging for you to spot.
  • Keep standing water out of your yard. A scorpion can survive for months without food, but they need water. So, if a scorpion finds a water source, they’ll want to stay close. Removing any standing water is a great way to keep these creatures away.
  • Keep rocks out of your yard. While decorative rocks might look appealing to you, they look like great places to hide under for a scorpion. Keep both small and large rocks out of your yard if you want to keep scorpions away.
  • Turn off lights at night. Scorpions aren’t attracted to your light at night, but plenty of insects are. Where the food goes, the scorpion will follow. Keep the insects away from your yard at night by keeping all the exterior lights turned off.
  • Seal all cracks and crevices into your home. This won’t keep the scorpions out of your yard, but it will keep them out of your home. While having scorpions outside your house might be bad, having them inside is even worse.

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Removing Scorpion Infestations

If you already have a scorpion infestation in your yard or home, it’s best to get professionals involved. Scorpions are incredibly aggressive, which means you’re inviting problems even as you try to remove them. Scorpions are no joke to deal with, so if you have them hanging around, you need to do whatever you can to get rid of them as soon as possible!

Following the tips to keep scorpions away is a great start, but you’ll also need to take care of the scorpions already living there.

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Final Thoughts

While there are people who are scorpion enthusiasts and like trying to track them down in the wild, if you live in Arizona, it’s only a matter of time until you spot a few. The best thing that you can do is recognize what kind of scorpion is around and know how to prevent attracting them in the first place.

Keep in mind that these are extremely aggressive creatures, so if you spend too much time near them, trying to figure out what they are, you might get stung!

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Featured Image Credit by Sari ONeal, Shutterstock