From my experience with scorpions, I’ve learned that caring for pet scorpions is relatively easy if you pay attention to the crucial aspects of their care. Temperature is one of these aspects, and you must maintain the same or similar conditions as seen in their natural habitat. Do scorpions need a heating pad to have an optimum temperature?
Using a heating pad for your scorpion enclosure may be a necessity or an added benefit. If you place the tank in a space with less-than-ideal temperatures, then the scorpions need a heating pad. A heating pad helps provide thermoregulation for the scorpions in a more conducive area.
This article delves into the items you put in a scorpion’s cage and whether scorpions need a heating pad. I also describe where you should place a scorpion heating pad.
What Do You Put in a Scorpion Cage?
At the top of your list for buying a non-traditional pet is where you will house the animal. The enclosure or cage is not just for shelter. It should also be adequate to meet your pet’s other needs, including its comfort and happiness.
Scorpions do well in plastic or glass terrariums, and 10 gallons is the ideal size for one scorpion. Two or more scorpions need 20 to 30 gallons, and a scorpion cage should also have more horizontal length than vertical.
Scorpions are not arboreal invertebrates, so they do more burrowing than climbing (they may not climb at all). Keeping scorpions is relatively easy because setting up and cleaning their cages requires minimal effort. You also don’t need too many accessories or much room.
Here is a description of the items you put in a scorpion cage:
No scorpion cage should be without a substrate lining the bottom, and this layer should be between two and four inches. Desert species of scorpions need a drier substrate, whereas jungle or forest species require some moisture.
Substrates that mix organic potting soil, coconut husk, orchid bark, and peat moss are suitable for forest species. For desert species, clean, chemical-free sand is the best option. Coconut husk is a good substrate because it is safe for scorpions and can hold tunnels.
- A water bowl
While you may never see your pet scorpion drinking water, it is still best for your scorpion to have a sturdy dish. Remove the water dish after every few days, and wash it thoroughly.
Use tongs to remove it and wash with soap and water. Ensure that you use a sturdy bowl because any water spillage can cause mold and fungus to grow.
- A hiding spot
Scorpions are secretive and shy animals, so they must have a hideout. A ceramic ornament or a flat rock is suitable—sturdy without being easily dislodged.
- Heat pads or mats
You can place the heat mat at the bottom or side of the cage, and it will contribute to the optimum temperature for the scorpions. Be careful with placing this item and monitor the temperature in the enclosure with a thermometer.
- Plants or foliage
Your pet scorpions can thrive without many accessories, but some foliage in the enclosure gives it a natural look. Because scorpions are comfortable in small places, select a short and wide plastic plant. It shouldn’t interfere with the top of the cage or spread out too much.
These are small, living bugs you can add to your scorpion’s cage to promote a healthy ecosystem. Springtails are optional, and you can buy them online. They help break down waste elements in the enclosure and control fungus, harmful invasive species, and mold.
How to Set up the Enclosure
- The first thing you do is line the bottom with the appropriate substrate. For jungle species, mist the substrate until it is damp but not drenched enough to drip.
- Secure the heating pad—if you have one—to your chosen area of the enclosure.
- Place the other elements in a practical way for your scorpion and are visually pleasing to you. Keeping the water dish and the heat pad on the same side is beneficial for maintaining humidity. The downside is that you may have to refill the bowl more frequently.
- Watch out for any taller decorations, and ensure that they don’t affect the lid.
- Place the container holding the scorpion inside the terrarium and secure the lid. When the scorpion has exited the container, you can remove it with tongs.
Do Scorpions Need a Heating Pad?
Scorpions are cold-blooded or exothermic animals that rely on external sources to maintain their body temperature. As mentioned earlier, keeping your enclosure in an area with consistent mild temperature removes the need for a heating pad.
However, using one gives your scorpion the option to thermoregulate. Since the heating pad will affect only the part of the cage it is in contact with, the other sides remain cool. Your scorpion can move from one corner to another, depending on its temperature needs.
Scorpions need an optimum temperature between 25°C and 30°C (70°F and 90°F), and they need this temperature range all day and throughout the year.
You can identify some behaviors that scorpions express in extremes of temperature. If a scorpion remains at the surface of its enclosure, appears uncoordinated, or acts aggressively, the temperature may be too high.
If it is too cold, a scorpion may not feed. Scorpions lack energy in extreme temperatures, and they may prefer to stay immobile to maintain their body temperature.
Where Should a Scorpion Heating Pad Be Placed?
Scorpions act on instinct, and when they feel hot, they burrow. If the heating pad is at the bottom of the cage, they continue to dig down towards it even if they feel hotter. They can unknowingly cook themselves this way.
Even if you place the heating pad to cover one-third of the cage’s bottom, this risk still exists. The best alternative is to put the heating pad at the side or back of the tank. This creates a temperature gradient and allows your scorpion to move to the cooler side when it gets hot.
Overheating your scorpion can be fatal, so you should be mindful of where you place a heating pad. Maintain a stable temperature gradient, and your scorpion will thank you for it.