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 rid a property of these desert-dwelling invaders. 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: TERRO Scorpion Killer Aerosol Spray
- BEST BUDGET: Black Flag Spider & Scorpion Killer Aerosol Spray
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: HARRIS Scorpion Killer, Liquid Spray Odorless Formula
- BEST NATURAL: HARRIS Diatomaceous Earth Crawling Insect Killer
- BEST POWDER: Bayer Delta Dust Multi Use Pest Control Insecticide
- BEST GLUE TRAP: Catchmaster 72MAX Pest Trap
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: sprays, concentrates, powders, and glue traps. Sprays, usually packaged in an aerosol 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 also 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, the scorpion 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 usually are rated for indoor and outdoor use. 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 Environmental Protection Agency (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. Diatomaceous earth powder dehydrates and kills scorpions and other insects by infiltrating their exoskeleton or through ingestion, a process that can take several days. Diatomaceous earth is safe for humans and pets. It’s sometimes used as a dietary supplement for improving bone health and cholesterol levels.
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 bedbugs. 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.
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 sprays that kill on contact and powders that remain effective for weeks. Check out these products that can be effective at killing scorpions in a home or yard.
When a scorpion emerges from under a bed or out of a dark closet, the first instinct may be to eliminate the threat immediately. This spray from TERRO, a well-known name in pesticides, can kill scorpions on contact. Set its precision nozzle for a wide or narrow spray for better accuracy.
In addition to killing a threat that presents itself, this spray can treat cracks and crevices, remaining on surfaces for up to 6 weeks to kill any passersby. This product uses prallethrin as its active ingredient, and it’s safe for indoor or outdoor use. It also will kill ants, spiders, cockroaches, crickets, and a host of other creepy-crawlies.
This Black Flag Spider & Scorpion Killer Aerosol Spray uses prallethrin to kill scorpions on contact and comes at a relatively affordable price. Black Flag’s spray allows the operator to deliver a lethal stream of pesticide while standing 5 feet from a scorpion and its stinger. It also works on spiders, making it ideal for dangerous black widows and brown recluse spiders.
In addition to killing on contact, this spray can be used to treat areas for up to 16 weeks. Prallethrin-based pesticides are safe for use around people and pets. This pesticide also will take down cockroaches, ants, fleas, ticks, and other pests.
Those with more extensive scorpion problems may want to check out this spray from HARRIS, which comes in a 1-gallon bottle. This product uses deltamethrin as its active ingredient, killing the scorpion hours after coming into contact with it.
Use this product to create a barrier around a home’s foundation or in the yard. It has a trigger sprayer that allows the user to apply the pesticide to cracks and crevices where bugs enter or travel. The pesticide presents low toxicity for people and pets. The barrier will last for up to 10 days before requiring retreatment.
Although most active ingredients used in scorpion killers present low toxicity to people and pets, they aren’t completely harmless. Diatomaceous earth is an all-natural solution for solving a home’s or yard’s scorpion problem that won’t harm pets, people, or the environment. Once the scorpion walks through the powder, the product penetrates cracks in its exoskeleton or is ingested, causing the pest to dehydrate and die in about 2 days.
A handy puffer bottle allows the user to apply it in cracks and gaps where scorpions and insects enter and exit a home. In addition to scorpions, diatomaceous earth also can eliminate fleas, cockroaches, ants, and other insects.
This dust-based Bayer Delta Dust Multi Use Insecticide resists moisture, making it suitable for treating exterior cracks and crevices. With the ability to kill pests for up to 8 months when left undisturbed, it’s also one of the longer-acting products on the market.
Apply the dust with a bellows hand duster, purchased separately. It comes in a 1-pound bottle, enough to treat about 2,000 square feet. In addition to scorpions, it can kill cockroaches, ants, bedbugs, and other common household pests. It uses deltamethrin, which presents low toxicity to humans and pets.
Glue traps also are an effective and pesticide-free way to eliminate scorpions. These 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, 2 inches wide, and 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. They’re safe for use around children and pets. In addition to scorpions, these traps can catch mice, spiders, and other insects. Each pack comes with 36 traps.
FAQs About Scorpion Killers
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 during scorching heat in search of water. 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.