Do Scorpions Have the Ability to Climb Walls? Uncovering the Facts

Scorpions are fascinating creatures known for their impressive survival skills and, of course, their venomous sting. Many people wonder if scorpions can actually climb walls, as this behavior is often associated with pests such as spiders and insects.

Yes, scorpions can indeed climb walls. They possess specialized appendages called “tarsi,” which allow them to grip onto various surfaces. This skill is particularly useful for scorpions when hunting prey or seeking shelter from predators and harsh weather conditions. However, the climbing abilities of scorpions may vary depending on the species and the type of surface they are attempting to navigate.

Can Scorpions Climb Walls

Types of Surfaces Scorpions Can Climb

Scorpions are able to climb various types of surfaces. Here are some examples:

  • Rough surfaces: They can easily climb stucco, slump block walls, and rocks.
  • Smooth surfaces: Scorpions might have some difficulty, but can still climb smooth surfaces like glass and metal.

However, their climbing ability largely depends on the species and the surface.

Limitations of Scorpions’ Climbing Abilities

Scorpions may face some limitations while climbing:

  • Smooth surfaces: Climbing on glass or metal may prove more challenging.
  • Climbing upside down: Some scorpions may have difficulty navigating upside-down surfaces.

Here’s a comparison table for a better understanding:

Surface Scorpion Climbing Easily Scorpion Climbing with Difficulty
Rough (e.g., stucco, rocks) Yes No
Smooth (e.g., glass, metal) No Yes
Upside-down No Yes

Please note that scorpions’ climbing abilities vary among different species and their environment.

Scorpion Behavior and Habitats

Hiding Places Inside the House

Scorpions can enter homes through small cracks and crevices. Within a house, they are often found in:

  • Dark, damp areas
  • Under beds, sofas, or other furniture
  • Inside shoes or clothing left on the floor

For example, the Striped Bark Scorpion is a common species that can be found indoors.

Outdoor Habitats

Scorpions live in various habitats around the world. Common outdoor hiding places include:

  • Under rocks, logs, or yard debris
  • Within tree bark or palm trees
  • Crevices or cracks in walls or rock structures

Arizona is home to many scorpion species, including the bark scorpions, which can be found in trees and other habitats.

Water and moisture availability can also influence the presence of scorpions.

Natural Predators and Prey of Scorpions

Scorpions are predators themselves and mainly consume:

  • Insects
  • Spiders
  • Other arachnids

However, they also have their own natural predators, which include:

  • Birds
  • Lizards
  • Animals like the grasshopper mouse
Scorpions’ Prey Scorpions’ Predators
Insects Birds
Spiders Lizards
Other arachnids Grasshopper mice

Preventing and Controlling Scorpion Infestations

Scorpion-Proofing Your Home

To prevent scorpion infestations, start by:

  • Sealing cracks and gaps around your home’s foundation
  • Installing door sweeps to seal gaps under doors
  • Ensuring window screens are properly fitted

Also, remove potential outdoor habitats by:

  • Keeping landscaping trimmed and away from your home
  • Removing logs, rocks, and debris from the yard

Exterminating Scorpions

A combination of pesticide treatment and non-chemical control methods is often the most effective approach. Professional pest control services can help you exterminate scorpions and target specific areas, like basements, pipe drains, and plumbing systems.

Non-chemical approaches include:

  • Using sticky traps in corners and laundry rooms
  • Blacklight searches at night to locate scorpions
  • Removing or controlling pests that scorpions feed on, such as beetles, flies, centipedes, lizards, and mice

Safety Tips for Handling Scorpions

If you encounter a scorpion, avoid touching it with bare hands, as their venom can cause pain or severe reactions in some people. Instead, use a glass jar and a sheet of heavy construction paper to safely capture the scorpion:

  1. Place a quart-sized glass jar over the scorpion
  2. Slide the sheet of heavy construction paper under the jar
  3. Invert the jar to let the scorpion fall to the bottom
  4. Securely screw a lid onto the jar

Scorpions can climb walls, but they are not known to jump. They can be found in pools or bathtubs, as they are attracted to water sources.

Reader Emails

Over the years, our website, whatsthatbug.com has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about these insects. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.

Letter 1 – Eastern Sand Scorpion in New Mexico

Subject: Scorpion in northern New Mexico
Location: Abiquiu, Rio Arriba County, NM
July 6, 2017 11:49 pm
After a lifetime of never once seeing a scorpion in the wild, I found this one while hiking tonight in Abiquiu, NM, approx. 6,400ft elevation. This one was out in the open running along on a dirt road, and I saw it by the shadow my flashlight was casting underneath. Perhaps an inch and a half long. This specimen seemed more skittish than aggressive, but I tried not to get too close. It held still long enough for a few long exposures illuminated by my flashlight.
I can’t seem to find much information on scorpions in NM. Most sources only seem to mention the highly venomous Arizona Bark scorpion, but I don’t think this one fits that description.
Signature: Andrew

Eastern Sand Scorpion

Dear Andrew,
This looks to us like an Eastern Sand Scorpion,
Paruroctonus utahensis, which is pictured on BugGuide and BugGuide data does list sightings in New Mexico.  There are other possibilities from the same genus.  Of the genus, BugGuide notes:  “Sand-dwelling species are distinguished by a row of setae (hairs) on the tarsal segments of the legs. This row of setae is called a bristlecomb and is in most species. Otherwise, they have large, robust pedipalp chelae (hands), and usually a slender metasoma (tail). An important character on the metasoma is the dorsal carinae (ridges) do not terminate with an enlarged granule or spine (seen in Vaejovis and other vaejovid genera except the punctipalpi group of the genus Vaejovis). The median eyes are typically large.”

Letter 2 – Baby Scorpion Pet

mystery scorpion
I found this little guy under a rock near Death Valley last march, about the size of a grain of rice. I took him home and he’s doing great, with quite the appetite, but I don’t know what species he his or how big he will get. Thanks for the help Bugman and for making an awesome site!
Cheers,
Brandon

Hi Brandon,
This looks like a Desert Scorpion in the genus Vaejovis.

Letter 3 – Beautiful South African Scorpion

Subject: Scorpions in house
Location: Edenvale, South Africa
January 16, 2014 12:29 am
Hi,
I live in Edenvale South Africa and this is the 5th scorpion we found in our house. I stepped on one (I think its the same one on the photo) about two years ago and it burnt like hell but I managed to sort it out with a bit of aloe.
I found this little dude (a baby one) in my drawer this morning – would love to know more about them.
Signature: MaddyZA

Scorpion
Scorpion

Dear MaddyZA,
This is one of the most beautiful Scorpions we have ever seen.  We will attempt to identify it tomorrow.

Letter 4 – big nasty bug!

We have seen this big nasty bug around and IN our house. It is about 3-4 inches long, not including the stinger (have also seen one that was maybe 1.5 inches). It looks similar to the stag bug that “Freaked Out in Mass” asked about last week…has the same pinchers in the front and the same body type, but the ones here are a lot bigger, black, have a bigger butt and a long needle-type stinger out the back thats about 2-3 inches long. They put off some really nasty smelling stuff when threatened (and when squashed of course) and someone around here told my husband they are a vinegar-something-or-another bug and not poisonous. We are in west Texas. I think it is probably some type of beetle (makes a very loud crunch when you squash it). Most of the ones I have seen have not looked aggressive, except for the little one we saw…it had its stinger up and was running towards my 2 year old daughter outside. They look horrible and freak me out!!! I have found 3 in my house and I have 3 small children. What is this thing, how harmful is it, and how do I keep it out of my house?! Thank you Bugman!!!
Big Nasty Bug Hater

Dear Big Bug Hater,
Might be a whip scorpion, not a true scorpion and actually quite harmless. They are also called vinegaroons.

Letter 5 – Bug Humanitarian Award: Scorpion found in bed in South Africa

Scorpion in my bed
Location: Pietermaritzburg, Kwazulu Natal, South Africa
March 4, 2012 1:15 am
Hello bugman!
The other morning around 2am, I woke up to a burning sensation on my shoulder. I realised that something had stung me, switched on the light and found this little guy on my pillow. I took a photo of it and then relocated it well away from my bedroom. It’s probably around 3cm long. It’s the hottest time of Summer here and it has been very dry.
Signature: Tania Kuhl

Scorpion

Dear Tania,
The markings on this Scorpion are quite pretty.  Its small size may indicate it is immature.  Because you did not react by squashing the hapless Scorpion that wandered into your bed, and because you relocated the creature, we are tagging your post with the Bug Humanitarian Award.

Letter 6 – Carnage: Giant Vinegaroon beaten to death in a Scorpion’s Den

Subject: Can not identify this bug
Location: Southeastern Arizona, Sierra Vista
June 14, 2013 10:10 pm
The bug was found moving slowly across my Saltio Tile floor in the Scorpions Den (Man Cave) which is the lower floor, half underground (Called a Tri-Level Home) in Southeastern Arizona , 85650.
It looks like a couple of insects combined. The photo is after I beat the shit out of it with a flyswatter, didn’t think. Not visible is the approximately 1/2 inch stinger/tail. The ants came later. Research on -line, AZ bugs/insects, netted no photos that matched.
What Is This Bug?
Good Luck
Harvey C
Signature: Harvey Campbell

Vinegaroon "after I beat the shit out of it with a flyswatter"
Vinegaroon “after I beat the shit out of it with a flyswatter”

Dear Harvey,
This is a harmless Giant Vinegaroon or Grampus (See Merriam-Webster Dictionary),
Mastigoproctus giganteus, a Whipscorpion that does not have venom.  Whipscorpions are not true Scorpions, and they are distantly related, but we still classify them together on our website.  We consider them harmless, though BugGuide does indicate:  “The vinegaroon is nocturnal and has poor vision. The whiplike tail is used as a sensory organ, as is the first pair of legs, which is not used for walking. Although its tail in unable to sting, this creature can spray an acidic mist from a scent gland at the base of the tail when disturbed. The spray is 85% concentrated acetic acid/vinegar, hence the common name “Vinegaroon.” The heavy pinching mouthparts (modified pedipalps) can also inflict a painful bite. Although very unlikely to attack humans, it can certainly defend itself if provoked.”  We consider this to be Unnecessary Carnage and allowing the Giant Vinegaroons to live in your yard might actually reduce the Scorpion and Cockroach populations.  By the way, who would even build a “Scorpions Den” and not expect it to live up to its name?

Thanks Daniel. Yeah the name came from the multiple ones found in the Den/Man Cave. Cheers harvey

Letter 7 – Desert Scorpion devours Roach

Scorpion photo
Hello, you helped us in the past identify a tailless whip scorpion. Thought you might enjoy this photo.

What a beautiful photo of a Desert Scorpion, genus Vaejovis, devouring an immature Cockroach.

Letter 8 – Hentz Striped Scorpion from Georgia

Subject: scorpion in South Georgia
Location: Screven, Georgia
December 29, 2013 5:53 am
hello
yesterday (December/28/2013) i found a tiny scorpion in my back yard. its maybe a little bit bigger than my pinky nail. we were building up a fire when i saw it on the ground near it. i had been picking up pieces of wood from an old pile and cutting down some brush to add into the fire. i was wondering if you could help me identify the type of scorpion, how venomous it is, and how large it gets. i was also thinking of keeping it as a pet and wonder what insects i should feed it and how often.
Signature: Edgar Flores

Hentz Striped Scorpion
Hentz Striped Scorpion

Dear Edgar,
This looks to us like the Hentz Striped Scorpion,
Centruroides hentzi, pictured on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide, this species has been found in Georgia and Florida.  It is our understanding that Scorpions with small pincers and larger tails are more venomous, but we cannot verify that.  We suggest you post your photo and questions to a forum like Arachnoboards if you want advice on keeping this little beauty in captivity.  In the meantime, you can try feeding small crickets that are available at a pet store.  It is our understanding that this species is often found under the peeling bark of downed pine trees.

Reader Emails

Over the years, our website, whatsthatbug.com has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about these insects. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.

Letter 1 – Eastern Sand Scorpion in New Mexico

Subject: Scorpion in northern New Mexico
Location: Abiquiu, Rio Arriba County, NM
July 6, 2017 11:49 pm
After a lifetime of never once seeing a scorpion in the wild, I found this one while hiking tonight in Abiquiu, NM, approx. 6,400ft elevation. This one was out in the open running along on a dirt road, and I saw it by the shadow my flashlight was casting underneath. Perhaps an inch and a half long. This specimen seemed more skittish than aggressive, but I tried not to get too close. It held still long enough for a few long exposures illuminated by my flashlight.
I can’t seem to find much information on scorpions in NM. Most sources only seem to mention the highly venomous Arizona Bark scorpion, but I don’t think this one fits that description.
Signature: Andrew

Eastern Sand Scorpion

Dear Andrew,
This looks to us like an Eastern Sand Scorpion,
Paruroctonus utahensis, which is pictured on BugGuide and BugGuide data does list sightings in New Mexico.  There are other possibilities from the same genus.  Of the genus, BugGuide notes:  “Sand-dwelling species are distinguished by a row of setae (hairs) on the tarsal segments of the legs. This row of setae is called a bristlecomb and is in most species. Otherwise, they have large, robust pedipalp chelae (hands), and usually a slender metasoma (tail). An important character on the metasoma is the dorsal carinae (ridges) do not terminate with an enlarged granule or spine (seen in Vaejovis and other vaejovid genera except the punctipalpi group of the genus Vaejovis). The median eyes are typically large.”

Letter 2 – Baby Scorpion Pet

mystery scorpion
I found this little guy under a rock near Death Valley last march, about the size of a grain of rice. I took him home and he’s doing great, with quite the appetite, but I don’t know what species he his or how big he will get. Thanks for the help Bugman and for making an awesome site!
Cheers,
Brandon

Hi Brandon,
This looks like a Desert Scorpion in the genus Vaejovis.

Letter 3 – Beautiful South African Scorpion

Subject: Scorpions in house
Location: Edenvale, South Africa
January 16, 2014 12:29 am
Hi,
I live in Edenvale South Africa and this is the 5th scorpion we found in our house. I stepped on one (I think its the same one on the photo) about two years ago and it burnt like hell but I managed to sort it out with a bit of aloe.
I found this little dude (a baby one) in my drawer this morning – would love to know more about them.
Signature: MaddyZA

Scorpion
Scorpion

Dear MaddyZA,
This is one of the most beautiful Scorpions we have ever seen.  We will attempt to identify it tomorrow.

Letter 4 – big nasty bug!

We have seen this big nasty bug around and IN our house. It is about 3-4 inches long, not including the stinger (have also seen one that was maybe 1.5 inches). It looks similar to the stag bug that “Freaked Out in Mass” asked about last week…has the same pinchers in the front and the same body type, but the ones here are a lot bigger, black, have a bigger butt and a long needle-type stinger out the back thats about 2-3 inches long. They put off some really nasty smelling stuff when threatened (and when squashed of course) and someone around here told my husband they are a vinegar-something-or-another bug and not poisonous. We are in west Texas. I think it is probably some type of beetle (makes a very loud crunch when you squash it). Most of the ones I have seen have not looked aggressive, except for the little one we saw…it had its stinger up and was running towards my 2 year old daughter outside. They look horrible and freak me out!!! I have found 3 in my house and I have 3 small children. What is this thing, how harmful is it, and how do I keep it out of my house?! Thank you Bugman!!!
Big Nasty Bug Hater

Dear Big Bug Hater,
Might be a whip scorpion, not a true scorpion and actually quite harmless. They are also called vinegaroons.

Letter 5 – Bug Humanitarian Award: Scorpion found in bed in South Africa

Scorpion in my bed
Location: Pietermaritzburg, Kwazulu Natal, South Africa
March 4, 2012 1:15 am
Hello bugman!
The other morning around 2am, I woke up to a burning sensation on my shoulder. I realised that something had stung me, switched on the light and found this little guy on my pillow. I took a photo of it and then relocated it well away from my bedroom. It’s probably around 3cm long. It’s the hottest time of Summer here and it has been very dry.
Signature: Tania Kuhl

Scorpion

Dear Tania,
The markings on this Scorpion are quite pretty.  Its small size may indicate it is immature.  Because you did not react by squashing the hapless Scorpion that wandered into your bed, and because you relocated the creature, we are tagging your post with the Bug Humanitarian Award.

Letter 6 – Carnage: Giant Vinegaroon beaten to death in a Scorpion’s Den

Subject: Can not identify this bug
Location: Southeastern Arizona, Sierra Vista
June 14, 2013 10:10 pm
The bug was found moving slowly across my Saltio Tile floor in the Scorpions Den (Man Cave) which is the lower floor, half underground (Called a Tri-Level Home) in Southeastern Arizona , 85650.
It looks like a couple of insects combined. The photo is after I beat the shit out of it with a flyswatter, didn’t think. Not visible is the approximately 1/2 inch stinger/tail. The ants came later. Research on -line, AZ bugs/insects, netted no photos that matched.
What Is This Bug?
Good Luck
Harvey C
Signature: Harvey Campbell

Vinegaroon "after I beat the shit out of it with a flyswatter"
Vinegaroon “after I beat the shit out of it with a flyswatter”

Dear Harvey,
This is a harmless Giant Vinegaroon or Grampus (See Merriam-Webster Dictionary),
Mastigoproctus giganteus, a Whipscorpion that does not have venom.  Whipscorpions are not true Scorpions, and they are distantly related, but we still classify them together on our website.  We consider them harmless, though BugGuide does indicate:  “The vinegaroon is nocturnal and has poor vision. The whiplike tail is used as a sensory organ, as is the first pair of legs, which is not used for walking. Although its tail in unable to sting, this creature can spray an acidic mist from a scent gland at the base of the tail when disturbed. The spray is 85% concentrated acetic acid/vinegar, hence the common name “Vinegaroon.” The heavy pinching mouthparts (modified pedipalps) can also inflict a painful bite. Although very unlikely to attack humans, it can certainly defend itself if provoked.”  We consider this to be Unnecessary Carnage and allowing the Giant Vinegaroons to live in your yard might actually reduce the Scorpion and Cockroach populations.  By the way, who would even build a “Scorpions Den” and not expect it to live up to its name?

Thanks Daniel. Yeah the name came from the multiple ones found in the Den/Man Cave. Cheers harvey

Letter 7 – Desert Scorpion devours Roach

Scorpion photo
Hello, you helped us in the past identify a tailless whip scorpion. Thought you might enjoy this photo.

What a beautiful photo of a Desert Scorpion, genus Vaejovis, devouring an immature Cockroach.

Letter 8 – Hentz Striped Scorpion from Georgia

Subject: scorpion in South Georgia
Location: Screven, Georgia
December 29, 2013 5:53 am
hello
yesterday (December/28/2013) i found a tiny scorpion in my back yard. its maybe a little bit bigger than my pinky nail. we were building up a fire when i saw it on the ground near it. i had been picking up pieces of wood from an old pile and cutting down some brush to add into the fire. i was wondering if you could help me identify the type of scorpion, how venomous it is, and how large it gets. i was also thinking of keeping it as a pet and wonder what insects i should feed it and how often.
Signature: Edgar Flores

Hentz Striped Scorpion
Hentz Striped Scorpion

Dear Edgar,
This looks to us like the Hentz Striped Scorpion,
Centruroides hentzi, pictured on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide, this species has been found in Georgia and Florida.  It is our understanding that Scorpions with small pincers and larger tails are more venomous, but we cannot verify that.  We suggest you post your photo and questions to a forum like Arachnoboards if you want advice on keeping this little beauty in captivity.  In the meantime, you can try feeding small crickets that are available at a pet store.  It is our understanding that this species is often found under the peeling bark of downed pine trees.

Authors

    by
  • Bugman

    Bugman aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. whatsthatbug.com is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

    View all posts
  • Piyushi Dhir

    Piyushi is a nature lover, blogger and traveler at heart. She lives in beautiful Canada with her family. Piyushi is an animal lover and loves to write about all creatures.

    View all posts

10 thoughts on “Do Scorpions Have the Ability to Climb Walls? Uncovering the Facts”

  1. Waitakere – Ranui
    At last I have found the bug that is alll over my garden. Passion Vine Hopper. This creature in not chosey to the type of plant it lives on. If there is any more info, out there, please pass on.

    Reply
  2. Hi,

    We have found two baby scorpians that look exactly like that in the last week.

    How can one deter them from your property? We have two small dogs and I don’t want them to get stung.

    Thanks

    Reply
  3. Hi,

    We have found two baby scorpians that look exactly like that in the last week.

    How can one deter them from your property? We have two small dogs and I don’t want them to get stung.

    Thanks

    Reply
  4. I live in Northcliff, South Africa. And I think this is the exact same scorpion which just stung me tonight on my hip. Think it might have been in my clothes. Anyway, it was a very sharp burning pain which didnt seem to have lasted too long. I am just wondering if anyone has identified this scorpion as yet? Thanks.

    Reply
  5. Hi,

    Anymore news on this scorpion? Found one dead when we renovated the house, another alive in the passage on the ceiling?

    Little Falls.

    Reply
  6. Hi,

    Anymore news on this scorpion? Found one dead when we renovated the house, another alive in the passage on the ceiling?

    Little Falls.

    Reply

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