Across the country, many people contend with common pests such as mice, roaches, and ants, but those who live in hot and dry climates face an additional threat: scorpions. Unlike generally harmless pests, scorpions can be dangerous. Equipped with sharp pincers and a pointed stinger that can inject a venomous poison, these intimidating arthropods are especially dangerous to young children and pets.
Fortunately, a whole line of products is available that helps get rid of scorpions. These products use powerful pesticides or natural ingredients to kill scorpions and come in a variety of forms, including sprays that kill on contact and powders that provide protective barriers that can last for months. Check out some of these top products, and keep reading to learn about many of the most important factors to consider when shopping for a scorpion killer.
- BEST OVERALL: Cedarcide Scorpion Shield
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Harris Scorpion Killer, Liquid Spray Odorless Formula
- BEST NATURAL: Harris Diatomaceous Earth Crawling Insect Killer
- BEST REPELLENT: Exterminator’s Choice Scorpion Defense
- BEST GLUE TRAP: Catchmaster 72MAX Pest Trap
- BEST ULTRASONIC: Good Life Pest Repeller Ultimate AT
Before You Buy Scorpion Killer
Although people living in the arid regions native to scorpions may consider these creatures a pest, they’re actually quite beneficial to the environment. Scorpions are predators that feed off of a variety of other pests, helping to keep insect populations low. With that in mind, it makes more sense to use nonlethal methods to get rid of scorpions.
Prevent scorpions from getting into the house by filling any cracks in the foundation or holes and gaps around windows, doors, dryer vents and air conditioning ducts. Also make the home inhospitable to scorpions by eliminating any food and water sources. Fix any leaks in the roof and plumbing and keep pet water bowls off the floor at night. Before buying a scorpion killer, first eliminate any cockroaches, termites, or ants that might be attracting scorpions.
Consider planting lavender around the home to repel scorpions naturally. Alternatively, create a repellent by mixing water with lavender essential oil in a spray bottle. Apply the solution liberally to places where scorpions have been spotted to keep them at bay.
If these methods fail to deter these pests, or shoppers are dealing with more than a few scorpions, it may be time to try a commercial product or call in a professional exterminator.
How We Chose the Best Scorpion Killer
In selecting the top scorpion killers for this lineup, we considered dozens of products designed to control these pests.
When possible, we limited our selections to products that get the job done while having a minimal impact on the environment. These products use natural active ingredients such as diatomaceous earth and essential oils to kill scorpions. We also included the top glue trap, which traps and kills scorpions without using a pesticide.
Since scorpions are largely beneficial to the environment due to their role as a natural predator of roaches, spiders, ants, crickets, and other undesirable insects in the home, we included repellents on our list as alternatives to scorpion killers. These products include sprays that use odors scorpions dislike and ultrasonic repellers with ultrasonic sounds that irritate these pests, driving them away.
Our Top Picks
The products listed here trim the field of options to some of the best pesticides available for killing scorpions. Organized by category, they include a scorpion-killer spray that kills on contact and powders that remain effective for weeks. Our list includes mainly products that leave a minimal impact on the environment. Check out these products that can be effective at killing scorpions in a home or yard.
Cedarcide Scorpion Shield kills on contact, functions as an effective deterrent, and doesn’t use any harsh chemicals, making it the best all-around solution for folks struggling to keep scorpions out of the home. Unlike other products that use chemicals, Cedarcide relies on raw cedarwood oil, making it safe for use around people and pets.
To apply, spray directly on scorpions or in places where scorpion activity has been observed. When cedarwood and soybean oils come into contact with scorpions, it cuts off their breathing tubes, suffocating them. Scorpions also hate the strong smell of cedar, which helps to keep them at bay. In addition to killing and repelling scorpions, Cedarcide functions as an effective broad-spectrum pesticide with its ability to kill fleas, ticks, ants, and mites.
- Type: Spray
- Active ingredient: Cedarwood oil, soybean oil
- Response time: Kills within hours of contact and lasts for 3 days
- Kills and repels scorpions
- Works against other pests, too
- Nontoxic ingredients safe for use inside the home
Get the Cedarcide scorpion killer on Amazon.
Those with more extensive scorpion problems may want to check out this scorpion-killer spray from Harris, which comes in a 1-gallon bottle. This product uses deltamethrin as its active ingredient, which presents low toxicity for people and pets, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Harris Scorpion Killer can be used to create a barrier around a home’s foundation or in the yard. It kills scorpions, including the bark scorpion and other species, within hours after pests come into contact with it. It’s ready to use with no mixing required and has a trigger sprayer that makes it easy to apply in cracks and crevices where bugs enter or travel. The barrier will last for up to 10 days before requiring re-treatment.
- Type: Spray
- Active ingredient: Deltamethrin
- Response time: Kills within hours of contact and lasts for up to 10 days
- No mixing required
- Kills on contact within hours
- Low toxicity to people and pets
- Only lasts for up to 10 days.
Get the Harris liquid spray scorpion killer on Amazon or at The Home Depot.
Diatomaceous earth (DE) is one of the most effective organic ways of taking out a variety of creepy crawlies, including scorpions. This powder, which consists of the tiny fossilized remains of aquatic organisms, penetrates the cracks in scorpions shells, dehydrating and killing them within about 2 days. Since this naturally occurring substance is unlikely to harm wildlife (aside from insects), it’s a greener option than chemical-based pesticides.
Harris’ version of this product comes in a puffer bottle, which makes it easy to apply small amounts of DE into the cracks and crevices that scorpions use to enter and exit houses. In addition to scorpions, Harris DE is also effective against roaches, fleas, ants, bed bugs, and most other insects. Since DE can cause eye irritation and should not be inhaled, protective eyewear and a dust mask should be worn when applying this product.
- Type: Powder
- Active ingredient: Diatomaceous earth
- Response time: Kills within 48 hours of coming into contact with scorpions
- Made of naturally occurring fossilized remains
- Puffer bottle makes it easy to apply in cracks and crevices
- Kills a broad range of pests
- Can irritate lungs and eyes if proper protection is not worn
Get the Harris DE scorpion killer on Amazon or at The Home Depot.
Since scorpions can actually be very beneficial by eliminating a host of insect pests, it’s worthwhile to consider a repellent, such as this spray from Exterminator’s Choice, before resorting to lethal methods. Scorpion Defense uses natural cinnamon oil to irritate scorpions and drive them from the home. Since it doesn’t use harsh chemicals, it’s safe for use inside as well as outside around people and pets. Plus, it leaves a pleasant cinnamon aroma.
To apply, spray Scorpion Defense around the perimeter of the home and in places where scorpions have been spotted to ward them off. Though Scorpion Defense uses natural ingredients safe for the environment, the concentrated oil can irritate skin and eyes, so precautions should be taken when using it. Wear eye protection, pants, and a long-sleeved shirt when applying this repellent.
- Type: Spray
- Active ingredient: Cinnamon oil
- Response time: N/A; product repels
- Eco-friendly and safe for indoor use
- Doesn’t degrade over time if kept dry
- Also works against other pests
- Only functions as a repellent
Get the Exterminator’s Choice scorpion killer on Amazon.
Glue traps also are an effective and pesticide-free way to eliminate scorpions. These scorpion traps from Catchmaster fold into a tunnel with a sticky bottom. When the scorpion enters the tunnel, it becomes hopelessly trapped in the glue, where it dies of dehydration.
Each trap is 6 inches long by 2 inches wide by 2 inches high, making it suitable for catching small- and medium-size scorpions. The tunnel design helps prevent dust and dirt from collecting on the glue. The traps are safe for use around children and pets, though they should be placed where curious little fingers and paws cannot access them. In addition to scorpions, these traps can catch mice, spiders, and other insects. Each pack comes with 36 traps.
- Type: Glue trap
- Active ingredient: N/A
- Response time: Kills in about 1 to 2 days
- Uses no pesticide; safe for use around kids and pets
- Easy to set up
- Tunnel design keeps dust and dirt out
- Catches a variety of pests
- Less humane way of killing scorpions
- Can become stuck to nosy pets
Get the Catchmaster scorpion killer on Amazon.
Those looking to repel scorpions without using potentially messy sprays or powders, harsh chemicals that create a hazard, or glue traps that require disposing of bodies should consider this ultrasonic option. The Pest Repeller Ultimate AT from Good Life produces a high-pitched sound and electromagnetic pulses that irritate scorpions’ nervous systems, driving them away. In addition to scorpions, the Ultimate AT also repels mice, rats, and roaches (humans and most pets can’t hear the signals produced by the pest repeller).
The repeller, which is similar in size to a plug-in air freshener, plugs into a standard outlet and will send scorpion-repelling waves throughout the room. Since walls will block these waves, multiple units must be installed to treat separate rooms.
- Type: Ultrasonic repellent
- Active ingredient: N/A
- Response time: Begins working as soon as it’s plugged in
- Humane pest solution
- Does not use harsh chemicals or messy substances
- Works with standard outlet
- Lasts indefinitely
- Signals won’t travel through walls, limiting its range to 1 room
Get the Good Life scorpion killer on Amazon or Good Life.
Or, DIY Your Own Scorpion Killer
While the products above are an effective way to deal with scorpion problems, individuals can also whip up their own scorpion killer using materials they probably already have at home. Create a scorpion-killer spray by mixing a solution of borax and water. The borax will soak into the cracks in the scorpion’s outer shell, eventually dehydrating the arachnid. The process is slow, so users will want to make sure to keep their distance when applying the spray.
A more humane way of dealing with scorpions is to create a repellent. Mix lavender, cinnamon, peppermint, or cedar oil with water and spray it around entry areas of the home or wherever scorpion activity has been spotted to serve as a barrier against these pests.
There are other common scorpion killer products including Terro Scorpion Killer Aerosol Spray, Black Flag Spider & Scorpion Killer Aerosol Spray, and Bayer Delta Dust Multi Use Pest Control Insecticide. However, they do not meet our sustainability guidelines and are not recommended for our top picks due to their harmful ingredients and toxicity. For these reasons, the Cedarcide scorpion killer is the best all-around option for scorpion control. It uses natural active ingredients that are safe for the environment while still having the ability to kill and repel scorpions. Those looking for an affordable solution for a scorpion infestation will want to consider the Harris liquid spray scorpion killer, which comes in an affordable 1-gallon size.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Scorpion Killer
The type of scorpion killer and how it’s applied are just two factors to consider when selecting the right pesticide. Ahead, learn more about how these pesticides work.
Scorpion killers come in four different forms: concentrates, sprays, powders, and glue traps. Concentrates must be mixed prior to use and typically contain harsh chemicals, so they are best used by professional exterminators.
Sprays, usually packaged in an aerosol or trigger-spray bottle, kill on contact. Similar to a wasp spray, they allow the user to fire a stream of pesticide at the scorpion from a safe distance. Sprays are effective for up to about 6 weeks at treating indoor areas where scorpions enter and exit a home.
Powders come in puff bottles or shakable containers that allow the user to treat larger areas of the property. They are effective for creating a barrier on the exterior, infecting scorpions as they cross the barrier and killing them in a matter of hours. Powders last longer than sprays; some can last for up to 8 months if left undisturbed.
Glue traps, which consist of a cardboard tunnel with a sticky surface, offer a pesticide-free way of solving scorpion problems. When the scorpion crawls over the sticky surface, it becomes stuck in the glue, where it dies of dehydration. Since these traps don’t use pesticides, they are the safest option for homes with children and pets. While glue traps remain sticky indefinitely, after the surface has claimed a certain number of victims or gets covered with debris, it loses its effectiveness.
Indoor vs. Outdoor Use
Scorpion killers are usually rated for either indoor and outdoor use, though some can be used in both areas. Sprays kill on contact, but they also leave a residue that will infect and kill any scorpion that walks through it. Some sprays are suitable for indoor use as they don’t create an unpleasant smell and don’t stain woodwork or furniture. Sprays generally dry in about an hour.
Dusts, which are in a powder form, are also safe for indoor use. Unlike sprays that dry clear, the powder is visible. Dusts must be placed away from busy areas, as feet can disturb the dust. This not only reduces its effectiveness, but it also creates a mess.
For a pesticide to be effective outside, it must be able to endure the elements. Waterproof dust and sprays are ideal for treating the cracks and holes around a home’s foundation that scorpions use to enter a house. When applying pesticides, allow the spray to dry before letting pets in the area, and keep pets away from pesticide-treated areas.
Natural vs. Chemical
Pesticides use either chemicals or natural ingredients that are toxic to scorpions and other pests. Common active ingredients in scorpion-killing pesticides include prallethrin, which kills on contact through paralysis, and deltamethrin, which disrupts a scorpion’s nervous system, killing it in hours.
While both chemicals will kill scorpions, deltamethrin can last up to 90 days, making it suitable for larger infestations and as a preventative method. Prallethrin is more suitable for killing imminent threats, such as a scorpion that appears from under a bed, or for treating small cracks and crevices inside the home.
While the EPA lists both prallethrin and deltamethrin as low-toxicity pesticides, it doesn’t mean they are completely harmless. Pesticides with prallethrin and deltamethrin are labeled with warnings that state they are hazardous to humans and animals. Ingesting these substances can cause vomiting, dizziness, and headaches.
Natural pesticides, such as diatomaceous earth, are an all-natural means of killing pests. DE powder dehydrates and kills scorpions and other insects by infiltrating their exoskeleton or through ingestion, a process that can take several days. Food-grade DE is safe for use around humans and pets. It’s sometimes used as a dietary supplement for improving bone health and cholesterol levels. There is also diatomaceous earth that’s designed for pool filters. This type of DE has a much higher silica content than food-grade DE, making it unsafe for use as a pesticide.
Most pesticides that kill scorpions are listed on the EPA’s list of pesticides with minimal toxicity to humans and pets. While this makes them generally safe for use both inside and outside, “minimal” toxicity doesn’t mean no toxicity. If pesticides are ingested, many can still cause illness.
Use care when removing a pesticide after it’s lost its effectiveness. For powder-based pesticides, sweep up the dust and dispose of it in a sealed trash bag. Clean the treated area with surface cleaner to remove any residual dust particles or residue from spray pesticides. When disposing of a dead scorpion, use a small shovel or heavy gloves to avoid coming into contact with its dangerous stinger.
Apply pesticides to areas that don’t see significant traffic from humans and pets, and avoid treating areas used for eating or food preparation such as countertops and dinner tables.
Because they’re colorless and odorless, sprays may offer the best means of treating indoor areas as they typically leave behind only a small residue. Powders, in comparison, are visible and can be disturbed by feet or curious children and pets.
Most pesticides that kill scorpions also will kill a variety of other insects, including roaches, ants, fleas, spiders, and bed bugs. Even glue traps will trap more than just scorpions. Their versatility makes these pesticide products an effective means for solving multiple pest problems with one application.
If you still have questions about how to deal with a scorpion problem, then read on for answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about these pests.
Q. What attracts scorpions in my house?
Scorpions often enter homes in search of water during scorching heat. They use pipe drains and plumbing to infiltrate a house, which is why they are commonly found in kitchens and bathrooms.
Q. Are the best scorpion killers toxic to humans and pets?
The EPA lists the best scorpion killers as low toxicity, which means they are safe for use around humans and pets.
Q. How often do I need to apply scorpion killer?
How often to apply a scorpion killer depends on the product. Some can remain active for a few days or weeks, while others may last for months. Most manufacturers stipulate on the product’s packaging how long the pesticide lasts.