Striped Bark Scorpions And Southern Devil Scorpions Are Often Found In Louisiana Homes

Due to Louisiana’s humid coastal climate, the state is home to an abundance of arthropod pest species that often enter homes. While a diversity of native arthropod species are to be expected in Louisiana, numerous invasive species can also be found in the state. This is largely due to arthropod-infested goods that have arrived at the state’s coastal ports over the years. Some of the most dangerous arthropod species in the world can be found in Central and South America, and many shipments containing infested lumber and exotic plants arrive at southern Louisiana ports frequently. Unfortunately, many of the most destructive invasive insect pests in the United States originated from shipped goods of this sort, as it is difficult to avoid the accidental transport of terrestrial arthropods when massive amounts of soil and exotic plant species are being shipped between the two regions. However, when people living outside of Louisiana learn that two scorpion species inhabit the state, they immediately assume that the species must be invasive pests that originated from South America or the Carribean Islands, but this is not the case. While it may be hard to believe, the striped-bark scorpion and the southern devil scorpion happen to be native to Louisiana, and each of these species inflict painful stings that have been documented as causing severe allergic reactions that have required hospitalization. Unfortunately, both of these species are often found in homes in Louisiana.

During 2017, a striped bark scorpion stung a west Monroe resident while he was relaxing within his home, revealing that the species had become well established even in northern Louisiana, where it was not considered to be a pest of concern to residents in the region. This species is known for inflicting stings upon people who become startled by the arachnids. These peculiar and painful incidents are most common when people unknowingly remove an object that a specimen has been hiding under. The slightly larger southern devil scorpion is also well known for inflicting stings upon people within their homes. This species often invades homes by sliding beneath doors and even by entering attics. In some cases, the scorpion squeezes through holes in ceilings where they become stuck within light fixtures. Luckily, these two species rarely inflict medically harmful stings.

Have you ever encountered a scorpion either indoors or outdoors?



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