8 Ways to Keep Scorpions Away While Camping

Scorpions are among the most feared of all pests because they can sting, and their stings sometimes cause serious illness or death to people. They aren’t aggressive creatures but will defend themselves when provoked. Scorpions can be a real problem if you’re camping in a dry or rocky site (like Arizona). In this blog post, we will explore ways to keep scorpions away while camping.

To keep scorpions away, ensure your tent is closed and no food scraps are lying around. Food scraps attract other insects, which attract scorpions. Also, avoid camping near rocks or dry soil, use a repellent that works, and check your clothing and shoes before wearing them.

Let’s explore these methods in more detail so that you can camp without any fear of lurking scorpions.

How to keep scorpions away from your tent?

Here are a few practical ways of keeping the scorpions away from your tent during camping.

1. Don’t camp near rocks and sand

Rocks and sandy places are scorpions’ natural habitat. They like dark and dry places to hide during the day.

The best way to keep scorpions away from your tent is to set up camp in an open and clean area. Rocks and sand are ideal shelters for scorpions, so avoid camping near them if you can. Also, check for debris like fallen tree branches, thick bushes and any other thing that can harbour scorpions.

Some people find that hanging a tarp as a screen between their tent and the rocks or sand keeps scorpions away to some extent.

Choosing a good camping site is your first line of defence against scorpions.

2. Close all the holes in your tent

Scorpions love closed and dark spaces. It is an old wive’s tale that scorpions can get into your mouth and eyes. They are generally afraid of open spaces and will try to get out of the daylight as soon as possible.

So, make sure there are no holes in your tent through which a scorpion can crawl in. Check seams, windows, and doors for any holes or tears. Seal up the holes if you find any, using duct tape or sealant.

Keep your tent door and windows closed at night. Scorpions are creatures of the night and come out only when it’s dark.

So, the best way to keep scorpions away from your tent is to close it every night. Don’t leave any windows or openings unless absolutely necessary, and make sure to get in & out of the tent using a safe path, that’s free of scorpion habitat.

3. Use suitable insect repellent

If you are going camping in the wild especially during the summer season, a suitable insect repellent should be in your backpack. You can find both chemical-based and natural repellents in the market.

  • Chemical Repellents: Most Prallethrin based repellents are very effective against scorpions. Although they are general repellents and can be used to kill a lot of other crawlers too. Some people worry about using chemicals around pets, but Prallethrin is safe to be used around them. I would recommend this one that you can order off Amazon.
  • Natural Repellents: Like most insects and crawlers, scorpions don’t like strong smells. That’s why strong natural scents are effective scorpion repellents. So, use essential oils like lavender, peppermint and citronella to keep scorpions away. They are available in spray forms online (check this one). You can also use catnip or mint leaves as they contain the nepetalactone that repels insects. If you love cooking with basil, then you can bring it along for camping too. it has a mild fragrance that keeps scorpions at bay.

4. Use scorpion glue traps at entrances

Scorpion glue traps are very effective at trapping scorpions. These work on the same principle as flypaper does.

You just put these sticky traps near entry points like your tent door or window and you can catch any uninvited crawling guest at night.

Most glue traps come in form of packed stickers that you just unfold and stick to a surface (check this one here). They come in handy for camping near rocks and sand to keep scorpions away.

But I would not recommend using them at home because they end up trapping large animals like mice and inflict a painfully slow death by dehydrating and starving them.

5. Inspect your tent before going to bed

This is probably the most important thing to do while camping to keep scorpions away. Take some time every night before you go to bed and inspect your tent. Since finding a small scorpion in dark is quite a challenge, using a UV light torch can help. UV torch (like this one) can light up a scorpion and can be easily seen.

Check for any cracks or holes in your tent’s roof or floor through which a scorpion could have entered. Look carefully under your sleeping bag and around your mat too. If you found any scorpion there, carefully dispose of it using a shovel or stick. Don’t use your hands and fingers to do so.

6. Clean your tent after every meal

Scorpions are predators and feed on other smaller insects like ants, spiders etc. When you leave food around your tent, you attract all these insects, and they, in turn, attracts scorpions, and it becomes a big food chain party in your tent.

So make sure to clean up after every meal and dispose of the leftovers in sealed bags. Keep your kitchen area neat and free of food materials like chocolate or sugar that smell tasty for crawling insects.

7. Check your clothes & shoes for scorpions before wearing them

As scorpions tend to hide in dark and close places, your shoes and clothes provide an excellent hiding spot for them. If your shoes are out of the tent all night or your clothes are hanging or lying around, there is a chance of scorpions hiding inside any of them.

Before you put your clothes or shoes on, make sure you shake them well so that any of our hiding guests fall down. If you put them on with the scorpion on, you are in for a sting-y day.

8. Wear long boots during your night stroll

Long boots can be an effective way to avoid scorpions especially when you are taking a stroll or jogging in the dark.

With short boots or flip-flops, they can easily sting your barefoot or crawl inside your leg, but if you are wearing long boots with your pants or pyjamas tucked in, you are pretty safe out there.

Conclusion

Scorpions are nasty crawlers but they are not naturally malicious unless provoked. In a few simple ways, you can keep your campsite safe from them.

Natural Repellents, like strong smells or natural scents (lavender, peppermint and citronella), can keep scorpions away. You can also use catnip leaves for the nepetalactone that repels insects. Make sure you clean up after every meal and dispose of leftovers in sealed bags for your tent.

Inspect your tent before going to bed each night by looking under the sleeping bag and around the mat too. Wear long boots during night strolls outside to avoid scorpions crawling inside the leg area with short boots on!

Scorpion FAQs

Does light keep scorpions away?

Yes, bright lights tend to startle scorpions leading them to move away. So if you are planning on having a bonfire or making a campfire with bright burning torches, the flickering light would disturb scorpions. They will most likely find an alternate shelter for themselves.

Can scorpions jump at you?

No, scorpions cannot jump at you. They are arachnids and therefore do not have the muscle to jump upwards on their own. The only way they can get at you is by moving in your direction or climbing on something tall enough for them to drop on you.

Can scorpions climb into beds?

Yes, they can. Especially if you sleep on a raised bed or an air mattress. They can easily climb up the legs of your bed and get to where you are sleeping. So make sure to inspect your tent before going to bed.

How do scorpions bite?

Scorpions use their stingers to inject venom through which they kill or paralyze their prey. However, they cannot pierce human skin easily with it, so you don’t need to worry about them stinging you unless, of course, there is some provoked behaviour on your end like stepping over one or something like that.

What to do if you see a scorpion?

When you see a scorpion, don’t try to kill it. Just pick it up with a stick or a pair of Pliers to pick it up and discard it away from your sitting area. You can also use thick leather gloves to pick them up but never pick them up using bare hands.

How do you keep scorpions away from your car?

Scorpions tend to hide under the hoods of cars and trucks so make sure to use any insect repellent sprays nearby before starting your vehicle early in the morning. When going out at night, keep a flashlight nearby to check if there are

Recommended Camping Gears: I have compiled a list of my favourite camping gear in one place. The selection is based on my own personal experience using them for many years camping as well as feedback from fellow campers. Check them out on my Recommended Camping Gears page