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Why Do Scorpions Glow Under Black Light?

Summer Means Scorpions

Why Do Scorpions Glow Under Black Light?

If you’ve lived in Arizona for any length of time, you’ve no doubt heard the term ‘black light scorpion hunting.’ Heck, they even sell so-called specialized scorpion black lights at your local hardware store.

So, how does this work? How do you find scorpions in the dark? And why do our Arizona scorpions seem to glow under black light?

Let me enlighten you…


Here’s the thing, no one truly knows why scorpions glow under black light. One scientist might say that it’s for mating purposes, while another might say it’s for attracting prey, another might say it’s a way to determine UV levels in the atmosphere.

Scorpions are nocturnal creatures. They abhor the heat and evaporative effects of sunlight, and it turns out they specifically avoid UV light too. In a recent issue of the Journal of Arachnology, the Cal State team reported that the arachnids adjust their activity level depending on the amount of UV shining on them. When flooded in UV, they are less active than when lights are dim. –

So, mystery solved, right?

Have you ever heard the old wives tale that scorpions glow under a full moon? Well, now you know why…maybe.

Well, we’ll never know for sure, but what we do know is that black lights do work to help you find scorpions.

Here’s how to go scorpion hunting in the dark:

  1. Best Time: The best time of evening to go scorpion hunting is 2 hours after dark, or early morning just before the sun rises.
  2. Best Tools: Just about any UV light will work…and yes, you can buy a ‘specialized’ scorpion black light from Lowe’s or Home Depot and it should work just fine. Just don’t shine it in your eyes or anyone else’s eyes.
  3. Best Hiding Places: Scorpions LOVES our Arizona brick fencing and walls, so that might be a great place to start. Head around your fence line and pay extra close attention to any block bricks with broken mortar or spaces. In fact, any spaces between concrete are great places to look, including in the patio. Also, check out any leave or debris piles.
  4. Best Way to Kill: There are specific scorpion sprays available through Home Depot or Lowe’s. And, not that I condone this, but I have heard of many families using fire to kill scorpions…not that I would recommend that.

There you have it!

Or, you can always just have us do it.

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