“Not A Concern”: Vector Control Detects Venomous Bark Scorpions in Palm Desert

Carmela Karcher

Scorpions: just one of the hundreds of species found in the desert.

But as of last week, a venomous, invasive type was detected right along Desert Mirage Dr. off Cook St. in Palm Desert.

“We were able to confirm that they are bark scorpions. It’s an invasive species here,” Coachella Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District Public Information Manager Tammy Gordon said. “They’re also really small…If they’re over the size of like a nickel, then that’s not going to be a bark scorpion. There tend to be more than one because they’re social. If you have any of those cinder block walls that have those cracks in it, those are like their favorite places to be and they can climb up in there, whereas our native scorpions can’t. Those are good telltale signs that you might have a bark scorpion.”

Known as the most venomous type of scorpion in the country, this isn’t the first time they’ve been found in the Coachella Valley.

Back in 2016, bark scorpions were found in Indio.

Vector control theorizes they came to the desert either on trucks, RVs or palm trees taken into the valley.

Gordon heard a lot of concern from people living in the area but she’s working to put their minds at ease.

“The comments were like, ‘They’re everywhere. They’re attacking. They’re invading everywhere.’ It’s really not,” Gordon explained. “There’s been no fatalities, there’s been no hospital visits, it’s really not a concern.”

But still, there are areas to avoid being stung.

“They really like to find crevices and like cracks to hide in so you’ll find them in landscaping rocks,” Gordon continued. “They really like to go up your backyard wall and find those cracks if you have a cinder block fence. So again, it’s one of those things to stay away from those areas.”

Vector control also has suggestions on how to prevent them from entering your home.

“Check out your weather stripping because they can get into small crevices,” she explained. “There’s also a tape that you can get if you really are really concerned with it. It’s a scorpion tape and you can put it right along the border of your door so if they do come in, they get stuck to it.”

So if you see one, Gordon says the best idea is to leave them alone.

“We live in the desert. We have scorpions. They’re good for us. They’re good for our environment,” she said. “They go after cockroaches, they go after spiders and really, they don’t move very fast so it’s one of those things that if they’re there, they’re probably doing a job. They have a food source there which is bugs so if you don’t want bugs around your house, leave the scorpions alone because they, for the most part, don’t want to be near your house and don’t want to be near you. They’ll stay away.”

If you do get stung, it’ll feel like a very painful bee sting.

Vector control has since contacted the California Department of Public Health and the Riverside County Department of Public Health so hospitals in the area are aware in case someone needs to be seen by a doctor.

Suscribe Form Desktop


Submit your suggestions and questions

Nbc Palm Spring Logo

Download our App

Apple Store Logo

Play Store Logo