If you live in an area where scorpions can be a nuisance or a danger to the lives of your children or pets, you might want to take up scorpion hunting with an ultraviolet (UV) LED device, such as a blacklight LED cap light.
Not all scorpions are dangerous, but some can be deadly. We live in Arizona where we share the desert with several types of scorpions, including the only truly dangerous scorpion in North America: the Bark Scorpion. The Bark Scorpion is smaller than most scorpions. It is only about three inches in size from its nose to the tip of the tail. Nonetheless is the most dangerous because the venom in its sting can kill a human.
Scorpions are arachnids, which are members of the spider family. All scorpions produce venom and can sting, but they have a tendency to hide when approached. Unfortunately, they sometimes hide in shoes and dark places where you do not always know that they are there until they sting you when they feel threatened. Some people therefore like to periodically check their property to see if scorpions are lurking outside.
That is where an ultraviolet LED flashlight comes in handy. Why an ultraviolet device? Because scorpions glow or become fluorescent under ultraviolet light. That makes them easier to locate at night. Keep in mind that this won’t work during the day, so you must work in darkness.
Always be extremely cautions when you see a scorpion. They can move very fast and some species, such as the deadly Bark Scorpion, can climb walls and trees. If you see scorpions in your yard it is usually because they are either looking for a food source or they have found one in your yard. If you cut off the food source, the scorpions will usually move somewhere else. That means periodically having a pest control company spray your yard to eliminate bugs, such as crickets.
Here are a few tips for hunting scorpions:
- Use the most powerful blacklight LED flashlight or cap light that you can find. Do not shine these devices in your eyes. They can be much brighter than you think. Ultraviolet LEDs are usually produced within a wavelength range of 385 to 400 nanometers, which puts them just outside the range of visible light. The longer length wavelengths (400 nm ultraviolet LEDs are typically more efficient than shorter wavelengths). Look for a specification for the total lumen output of the LED device.
- Some scorpion hunters kill the critters with pressurized brake cleaner or spider spray. Use something that will spray a stream or a tight pattern. You do not want to get very close to a startled scorpion. Watch where you spray. You do not want to get chemicals on your skin nor do you want to spray your vegetable garden.
- Never get up close to scorpions. Some people use long pincher devices, the large end of a baseball bat or a four foot stick to dispatch these pests.
- Never, ever try to pick a scorpion up with your hands or try to swat one with your hand. If you do accidentally get stung, call for medical help immediately.
- Never shine an ultraviolet flashlight in your eyes or anyone else’s eyes. UV light can cause eye dame if not used properly.