If you’re a camper, you would agree that the thrills and excitement of a camping experience should not be dampened by anything, not by the weather, and definitely not by thoughts of danger.
However, whenever there are reports of campers finding scorpions in their belongings or being stung by them, your heart probably stops a beat and you wonder whether you might be next.
What does it take to ensure that these scary creatures stay away from you when next you go camping? What locations and situations should put you on alert?
Let’s talk about how to avoid scorpions when you go camping and protect yourself against them.
In Which Camping Sites You May Find Scorpions?
It is important to know from the start what areas are scorpion prone so that if you’re camping in these areas, you already know to be on the lookout.
Across the United States, scorpions are mostly found in desert locations and rocky sites like Arizona, California, and Texas.
Scorpions create a habitat for themselves in rocky and sandy areas, and they hide in dry and dark places throughout the day.
They also create a harbor for themselves amongst fallen tree branches, around cactus plants, and in thick bushes. Citrus trees are known to attract scorpions, so look around your camping site for these trees.
You can also expect to find black scorpions in the South-West desert; and just so you know, their sting can be quite toxic.
How To Keep Scorpions Away When Camping?
Let’s say you found a campsite where there’s a possibility of scorpions being around. Or you are not sure whether or not the creatures are lurking around somewhere. How can you keep them away?
1. Set up your tent in safe locations
The first thing is to try staying out of the scorpion’s way, and you can do this by setting up your tent away from its path.
Ensure that you’re setting up your tent in an open environment away from rocks and trees. Avoid caves, sandy and rocky places, as well as bushes that could be a hideout for scorpions. Pick up fallen branches and clean up your environment as much as possible.
Avoid citrus trees or anything that has the citrus smell because it will send a signal to scorpions and lead them to you.
2. Use a thick tent
If you’re camping in an area where scorpions could be present, you’ll need to use a tent made from thick material; especially if you’re around a rocky area.
There is no guarantee that a scorpion won’t be crawling around at night and find its way to you while you’re sleeping or unawares. However, if you get a thick tent, the scorpion won’t easily tear through the material and get to you.
The good thing about camping with a thick tent is that it’ll also serve as insulation against the cold and scorching sun.
3. Ensure all holes in your tent are closed
Close up all holes in your tent and avoid creating a space for a scorpion to find its way into your tent. Look for tears or openings in the seams and around the doors and windows and seal them up properly. You can use a sealant or duct tape to do that.
Always keep your tent windows and doors closed at night, no matter the temperature because scorpions come out when it’s dark, and they’ll easily make their way to you if your tent is open.
Even during the day and before you retire for the night, make it a habit to close the tent when you step out to avoid having the scorpion find its way in and lay in wait for you.
4. Place scorpion glue traps at your entrances
Scorpion glue traps are great for trapping scorpions. You can place them at all the entry points to your tents so that they can catch any scorpion that approaches.
Ensure that you have these traps at your windows, doors, and any other opening at all times, but especially at night.
The glue traps are easy to use. They are just like stickers that you open up and stick to a surface.
If you’re camping in rocky or sandy areas, never go without these sticky traps because you will need them.
Recommended Scorpion Glue Traps:
5. Maintain a clean environment
If you want to keep scorpions away, then you should maintain clean habits and proper waste management. Avoid throwing half-eaten food, containers, and dirty clothes around. They can attract and serve as a hiding place for scorpions.
Weird or rotten smells and dirt can attract scorpions, so dispose of your food properly after eating and keep your clothes and shoes properly.
Remove sticks, stones, and branches from around your tent. (Always do this with gloves on to avoid being stung by an insect, or even a scorpion that might already be hiding in them).
What Should You Do If You See a Scorpion While Camping?
Chances that you might come across a scorpion at least once if you’re camping in and around their habitat. So, what should you do when you come upon a scorpion? Should you run for the hills or attack? The best answer is neither.
If you’re out exploring or looking around and you cross paths with a scorpion, you should give it some space, and move away from it or admire it from a distance.
Don’t touch or attack it if it’s just minding its business and moving around.
However, if it is approaching you or you even find it in your tent, then you should use some object such as a tent pole, a piece of wood, or a utensil to move it away from your space. NEVER touch it with your bare hands.
If you find that a scorpion is sitting in your shoes or amongst your clothing, put on gloves and carry the clothes away from your tent and shake the scorpion off. If that seems too daunting, then use a long object to guide it away from your clothing.
ALWAYS shake out your shoes, clothing, backpack, and sleeping bag frequently.
How To Repel Scorpions When Camping?
You just might want to go on the offensive and repel the scorpion so that it doesn’t even come around your space when camping. It is a wise and worthwhile action to take to avoid run-ins and dangerous occurrences.
1. Use a Strong Scorpion Repellent
Scorpions, like many other crawling insects, have repellants that send them running in the other direction. You can purchase one of the many chemical or natural repellants on the market to keep scorpions away.
Chemical Repellents for faster Effect on Scorpions
There are many chemical repellants suitable for keeping scorpions away, especially those that are Prallethrin-based.
While some general-function repellants can repel several other insects, you might want to use Prallethrin products, not only because they focus on scorpions, but also because they are safe for pets if you have any.
Recommended Scorpion Repellent:
2. Natural Scorpion Repellents
Mint leaves and basil are some of the most common repellants. They contain nepetalactone that repels insects and scorpions with their mild fragrance.
However, essential oils are mostly recommended as natural repellants for scorpions. These oils are safe to handle and won’t be dangerous or poisonous to you.
You can either buy scorpion repellents or make a DIY repellant using Cedarwood essential oil, Lemon eucalyptus essential oil, Lavender essential oil, and water. You can replace either of these oils with orange or cinnamon essential oils.
You’ll need to measure and pour these oils into a bottle that has a spray nozzle, dilute them with clean, purified water, shake them vigorously, and spray the mix around your camping tent to keep scorpions away.
3. Use a Bug catcher
A third method to try is to get a bug catcher. Although bug catchers are primarily made to catch bugs and insects, you will be able to find some that are strong enough and have the needed vacuum functions to suck up a scorpion if need be.
With such a tool, you can catch a scorpion easier and take it away from your location without killing it or hurting yourself.
With the simple ways outlined above, you can keep your campsite safe from scorpions and enjoy your activities.
Whether you opt for natural repellants that have strong scents and smells that keep scorpions at bay, or you’ll go for chemical repellants that you can purchase online or at shops around you, ensure you have something that keeps scorpions away from your tents.
Remember to keep your environment clean, dispose of refuse properly, and check your tent and clothing often, especially before going to bed at night.
With all these checks, you’re set to have a peaceful and scorpion-free camping session.