Scorpion problem for one Valley neighborhood

- Residents near the Loop 202 freeway extension project in the Ahwatukee area of Phoenix say they are facing a problem that no one anticipated.

The freeway extension project has been years in the making, and it will add 22 miles of freeway that will connect the East and West Valleys. Residents living near the area, however, say their homes are being taken over by scorpions.

People living on Cedarwood Lane, near Pecos Road and 27th Avenue, are complaining of these new home invaders. Residents claim since ADOT tore down homes across the street to make way for the Loop 202 extension and turned the area into a makeshift nursery, dozens and dozens of scorpions have decided to make themselves at home, in the area.

"We're finding a lot of scorpions around the house. It's a big concern," said Scott Cook. "There's been dogs stung, there's small children up and down this street, and somebody's going to get hurt."

Cook said it's a stinging reality for residents.

"We would find one scorpion every four to six weeks," said Cook. "It's not uncommon now to find 10 to 15 scorpions a week in the garage, in the house. We found one inside a bed last night. So, it's a serious problem."

Experts say it's no surprise to see a mass movement of scorpions when their natural habitat - the desert soil - is disturbed, and the makeshift nursery is no help as well. Freeway construction, however, may not be the only factor.

"Most of it is going to be from the weather change," said Tony Long with Y Not Pest Control and Services. "Scorpions don't like to be cold. They gravitate indoors just to get warm, then hibernate inside your house, and once summer kicks in, they'll wake up and that's when you'll see the spike inside."

ADOT officials deny their actions are contributing to the scorpion spike, saying a private developer is doing construction work in the area. The company investigated the claim this week, and their results showed no spike in scorpions.

"Somebody needs to step and do something," said Cook. "ADOT hasn't stepped up to help out. They need to take care of this problem."

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