Whip Scorpions

Facts, Identification, & Control

Scientific Name



What Do They Look Like?

  • Eyes: One pair of eyes can be found at the front of the cephalothorax, and the three remaining pairs are on either side of the head.
  • Legs: They have eight legs: the first two legs serve as the sensory organs, while the other six legs are for walking.
  • Pincers: They have clawlike pedipalps, or pincers.
  • Size: Whip scorpions range in size from 25 to 85 mm in length.

How Did I Get Whip Scorpions?

Whip scorpions, sometimes referred to as vinegaroons or grampus, are nocturnal and spend most of the day under rocks, logs, or boards. Yards with piles of firewood or other debris provide good hiding places for the pests. When searching for prey, they can wander inside homes through:

  • Cracks in Walls
  • Doors
  • Windows

How Serious Are Whip Scorpions?

While they look frightening, whip scorpions cause few problems if left alone, and are unable to bite or sting. When disturbed, the pests release an acidic substance from their tails that has a strong, vinegar-like smell. This liquid may result in pain, skin irritation, and blistering. Some species also use their large pincers in self-defense as well as to capture and subdue prey. Whip scorpions do not produce venom and do not have a venom gland, so they do not sting or cause pain as true scorpions do.

How Do I Get Rid of Whip Scorpions

What Orkin Does

Your local Orkin technician is trained to help manage whip scorpions and similar pests. Since every building or home is different, your Orkin technician will design a unique program for your situation.

Orkin can provide the right solution to keep whip scorpions in their place…out of your home, or business.

Behavior, Diet, & Habits

Whip scorpions are arachnids that have a similar appearance to true scorpions, but do not possess a venomous sting. While they are not venomous, they can spray an acidic mix that has a vinegar-like smell. Because of this, they are often called vinegarroons in the Southwestern United States.

What Do They Eat?

Whip scorpions are carnivorous and nocturnal. They hide under leaves or rocks during the day, and typically prey on insects like cockroaches and crickets at night.

Where Do They Live?

Over 100 species of whip scorpions have been discovered. They live in tropical and subtropical areas worldwide. They usually dig their burrows with the use of their pedipalps, and would rather stay in humid, dark places and avoid light. They also dwell under:

  • Logs
  • Rocks
  • Rotting wood
  • Other debris

In mating, males secrete a sperm sac and find a way to transfer it to the female. A single burrow can accommodate 35 eggs. The female will stay with the eggs until they hatch, after which the young ones climb onto their mother's back for long periods until their first molting. After they molt, these tiny scorpions leave the burrow.

More Information