I receive a lot of calls and emails with people asking what creatures to expect when moving to Cottonwood or any other place in the High Desert of Yavapai County. The two creatures inquired about the most are scorpions and the black widow spider. Please read my blog about the difference between the bark scorpion and striped-tailed scorpion as it will aid you in proper identification of these two species. The bark scorpion is the more venomous of the two scorpions and I have found it in limited areas throughout the valley. Most predatory insects have venom and will use it in defense and to subdue prey. Scorpions will come in the house from time to time but one common misconception is that they nest. Scorpions if hungry have no problem with eating each other and the mother scorpion will actually carry her young on her back and drop them in different locations just to avoid this behavior.
The Black Widow is a very shy spider and will almost always seek shelter if threatened. The only time I see this spider become aggressive is if she has an egg sack. The way most people get bitten by the Black Widow is when they put their hands unknowingly in her hiding place. I rarely find her inside unless the house has been vacant for a long period of time or she was brought in on something that was outside.
The one that seems to startle people the most is the giant desert centipede. This is another predator insect that we encounter in the high desert regions that has the potential to sting.
We also get a lot of cockroaches around the exterior that will come in the home from time to time. Getting a good general spray in the spring time really aids in keeping the Oriental and American cockroaches from over populating. Keeping the population controlled of the insects scorpions and spiders eat does aid in reducing the number of predatory insects your area can effectively support.
People often ask if there is anything on the market that will kill a scorpion and the answer is yes. I have found many products that will kill scorpions, some with faster knockdown than others. I have posted several blogs on chemical formulations and how they work to help explain what makes different products more effective than others. When moving to the Cottonwood or the Verde Valley, always ask lots of questions if you choose to go with a professional exterminator.