How do I figure out how scorpions are invading my bathroom fixture.
July 9, 2009 2:52 PM   Subscribe

Help me figure out how these scorpions are getting inside the bathroom light fixture.

We moved into this house about 6 years ago. We have 2 1/2 baths in the house. In the downstairs bathroom off the master bathroom, we keep getting scorpions in the bathroom globe. The scorpion will be alive a couple of days, and then die, because it can't get out of the glass globe. So I take down the globe, clean it out real well, and put it back up. Maybe within 3-5 days, another scorpion is back in the globe and the process repeats again. There has never been more than one at a time in the globe.

When we moved into the home, we had a few scorpions, and bugs, but we hired an exterminator who treats the house monthly. Since we have had the exterminator, there have been no problems within the home.

So help me solve this mysterious entry route to the bathroom globe. No other fixtures are affected. The house is a brick house, and all outside areas are sealed, at least all I can see, but some how they keep coming back one at a time.
posted by snoelle to Home & Garden (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
So it's not like some egss got laid up in there somewhere? But I'm also kind of confused since you say you hired an exterminator who treats the house monthly and since then have had no problems. Do you still have the exterminator or not? Maybe they can help? Have you tried maybe sealing off the globe with plastic wrap and re-sealing to see what happens then? (It would mean not using the light for a few days, I guess.

First gecko eggs in underwear drawers, now this. Egad.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 3:05 PM on July 9, 2009

I suspect they follow the Moskva down to Gorky Park...

Does the bathroom have a fan that vents to the outside? They could be coming in there.
posted by willpie at 3:07 PM on July 9, 2009 [1 favorite]

Uh... could someone be playing a trick on you? This sounds like the kind of prank my old roommate would have pulled, although he would have probaby used spiders.
Also, where in the world do you people live? Might I suggest Canada?
posted by pseudostrabismus at 3:08 PM on July 9, 2009 [1 favorite]

You still have scorpions in the house, even if you don't see them. Or they are coming in through the pipes. Get a new exterminator?
posted by emyd at 3:24 PM on July 9, 2009

My vote is for the fan vent hypothesis.

Also, I can't say this thread has improved my day at all, knowing that somewhere, scorpions are a problem inside houses. I can cope with spiders, but scorpions are scary.
posted by Netzapper at 3:53 PM on July 9, 2009 [3 favorites]

Next time he comes around, I'd ask the exterminator to take a look at the light fixture.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 4:02 PM on July 9, 2009

I have some experience with scorpions... they're good climbers and assuming this is a typical recent-construction slab foundation house with brick exterior, they're likely coming up the brick and going up through a gap in the eaves or fascia, a soffit vent, or possibly the roof flashing. It doesn't take much of a crack for them to get in, like maybe a few millimeters. Thus, they're probably getting in and out of the attic. The rough opening for the globe light fixture that lets the wiring in probably has a gap and they're getting in from the attic into there, perhaps drawn to the heat or any insect activity near it.

To solve this:

(1) get yourself acquainted with their routes and where the numbers are highest. Get yourself a UV LED flashlight (about $15) and look all along the house an hour or two after dark. Any that are out will stand out like a sore thumb. Likewise you'll want to go in the attic with the UV LED after dark and check it out... just make sure you haven't been watching The Grudge or anything.

(2) once you figure out where they're getting in, seal with foam sealant or caulking.

(3) clear away ALL brush, debris, and lumber piles within a few dozen yards of the house.

(4) I don't think poisons or exterminators are worth a damn for scorpions... it's probably more harmful to you than them, and this is the kind of deal where you have to fix the issues which are allowing them to thrive. They tend to love eating crickets, though, so sometimes getting rid of cricket problems is what controls the scorpions.

(5) you may want to use your UV light to actually hunt down and liquidate any scorpions you find... my experience in the past is that the populations very quickly succumb to wars of attrition a lot faster than roach infestations.
posted by crapmatic at 4:34 PM on July 9, 2009 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Yes we still have the exterminator, and he treats the house monthly. The only problem we have had since then is the one scorpion that ends up in the bathroom fixture.

Funny thing is, if they are getting in through a crack, the only one that makes it all the way in, ends up in the globe...but maybe that is a good thing. I don't really have an attic, so can't go in there at all. I'll try the flashlight that might be interesting to see!
posted by snoelle at 5:43 PM on July 9, 2009

Response by poster: Oh, we live in El Paso, TX. so this is desert, scorpion country for sure...
posted by snoelle at 5:44 PM on July 9, 2009

Yes, check the attic. We had essentially a crawlspace above our house in NM and it stayed full of scorpions all summer long. Lovely.

Make sure you're shaking out your shoes in the morning.
posted by sugarfish at 9:51 PM on July 9, 2009

Scorpions don't magically materialize inside light fixtures, so you have to have a hole between the light fixture and somewhere else. Turn off the light, take off the globe, take out the bulb, find the hole (beware of bare or loose wires), and fill the hole with something. Probably anything would do, but I suppose you should use something that won't burn or give off fumes (assuming the light builds up any sort of heat).

Or, if you have a crawlspace up there you can get into, leave the light on and go up there in the dark to freak out. No, not to freak out. Go up there in the dark to see whether there is some light leaking up from that fixture that might be attracting your little stinging friends. That would help you figure out what holes you need to block. Then go "Aiiiiyayayaya!" and scramble down and take off all your clothes and shake them out.
posted by pracowity at 9:11 AM on July 10, 2009

At least some scorpions glow under black light. You could go up into the attic with a black light and inspect for scorpions. It might help you pinpoint areas that need extra attention by the exterminator.
posted by Brody's chum at 10:16 AM on July 10, 2009

Have you talked to your exterminator about a special scorpion extermination? I had one of these done in Austin (I don't know what exact process they used, but I know that they did something different than "regular" bug extermination, and the scorpions never came back). If you are still in El Paso, I'm really surprised that your guy doesn't already have this expertise -- I thought it was kind of standard in desert areas.
posted by pineapple at 10:06 AM on July 11, 2009

At my grandmother's place in rural Oklahoma, the farmhouse was pretty much infested with snakes, some poisonous but most not. When my cousin and I first arrived at the beginning of the summer we would be terrified to see one slither out from under the bed or see them sunning themselves in the middle of the road. Eventually they got so commonplace we wouldn't even take notice. My grandmother would step on and squish the head off of a snake with nothing more than a houseshoe. I once saw my cousin open up the silverware drawer, see a snake coiled on top, and still reach inside to get her spoon without so much as a flinch.

posted by Ugh

epic eponysterical!
posted by scratch at 2:02 PM on July 11, 2009 [1 favorite]

« Older I know they're probably too busy for side projects...   |   Should I stay in law school? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.