Scorpions have a bad reputation that they may or may not deserve, but most people will agree it’s a better idea to avoid them. Scorpions love the warm weather, and you can find them almost anywhere in the Southern United States. If you live or are planning to vacation in Florida, you will want to keep reading while we list the different kinds of scorpions you will find there. We’ll tell you a little about each one, so you will know what it is if you see one, and most importantly, you’ll know if it’s poisonous.

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The 3 Scorpions Found in Florida

1. Florida Bark Scorpion

Species:Centruroides gracilis
Longevity:3–4 years
Good to own as a pet?:Yes
Legal to own?:Yes
Adult size:2–4 inches

The Florida bark scorpion has many names, including brown bark scorpion and slender brown scorpion. It is not native to Florida but became an invasive species when introduced to the environment. People often keep it as a pet, and it eats roaches, crickets, and other insects. Its sting contains venom, but it’s not very toxic and usually leads to pain and swelling. Though in extreme cases, it can cause vomiting, sweating, diarrhea, and even heart problems. You’ll need to watch out when moving rocks and tree bark in your yard because this is where you will usually find them.

2. Hentz Striped Scorpion

Hentz Striped Scorpion - Centruroides hentzi, Archbold Biological Station, Venus, Florida
Hentz Striped Scorpion – Centruroides hentzi, Archbold Biological Station, Venus, Florida (Image Credit: Judy Gallagher, Wikimedia Commons CC 2.0 Generic)
Species:Centruroides hentzi
Longevity:3–8 years
Good to own as a pet?:Yes
Legal to own?:Yes
Adult size:2–3 inches

The Hentz striped scorpion is quite common in Florida and is the one you are most likely to see. It’s usually a little smaller than the Florida bark scorpion, and it has a dark brown or tan body with green-yellow stripes on its midsection. Like other scorpions, you can find it under rock, fallen trees, and wood piles.

3. Guiana Striped Scorpion

Species:Centruroides hentzi
Longevity:2–3 years
Good to own as a pet?:Yes
Legal to own?:Yes
Adult size:3 inches

The third scorpion that you can find in Florida is the Guiana striped scorpion. This species is a little larger than the Hentz but is not as large as the Florida bark scorpion. It’s easy to recognize because it’s lighter in color than the others, but it’s easy to confuse because it can also be called a striped bark scorpion, which is very similar to the Florida bark scorpion. It also likes to bite people, and since it is more common in the rest of the United States, this scorpion is responsible for thousands of stings each year. Luckily these stings are rarely fatal and usually only cause localized pain and swelling that clears up in a few days.

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Poisonous Scorpions Found in Florida

All of the scorpions on our list will deliver a painful bite that will result in swelling. Some people may have an allergic reaction to the toxin, which can cause more serious signs and symptoms, but most people will have no serious side effects. Of the three listed here, the one to avoid is the Florida Bark Scorpion. It’s quite large and delivers more toxins which can lead to more serious signs and symptoms.

Avoiding Scorpion Bites

  • Eliminate standing water near your home. This water will create a breeding ground for a large number of insects, which will not only lead to more disease-carrying mosquitoes, but it will also attract scorpions.
  • Seal the cracks and holes around your property, especially those that provide an entry into your home. Scorpions can fit through a tiny area.
  • Inspect your home regularly to make sure none are creating a home. Look in boxes, shelves, cupboards, and anywhere else it might hide.
  • Keep bushes, tall plants, and wood piles at least 30 feet away from your home. A lack of shelter around your home will reduce the risk it will make it into your home.
  • Turn off outside lights at night. Light attracts bugs, and bugs attract scorpions.
  • Don’t walk barefoot in areas where there might be a scorpion.
  • Use caution when approaching a woodpile that might contain scorpions.
  • Get professional assistance to remove the scorpions if they appear to be taking up residence.

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Luckily, there aren’t too many scorpion species in Florida, but the ones that are there can sing pretty hard, and you should avoid them. Keeping them away from your home by removing any shrubbery or clutter is essential to your safety, as is sealing any cracks and performing regular inspections. However, while the sting hurts considerably, it’s not life-threatening for most people, so there is no need to be afraid of them. Indeed, many people like to keep them as pets.

We hope you have enjoyed reading over this short list and found the answers you needed. If we have helped you feel a little better about your next vacation, please share this guide to the three scorpions found in Florida on Facebook and Twitter.

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Featured Image Credit by Irina K, Shutterstock