Hunting for Scorpions in Arizona

Homeowners pay exterminators to get rid of these creepy crawlers, but one researcher spends his own money to seek them out.
5:50 | 09/28/16

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Transcript for Hunting for Scorpions in Arizona
If you've got termites or roaches, you know who to call. Generally the exterminator. What if your house is swarming with scorpions? I'm not talking about the German rock band that did "Rock you like a hurricane." In Arizona these venomous buggers are a big problem and also a big business. Here's ABC's Clayton Sandell. Reporter: They look like demonic aliens. Venomous stingers glowing under blacklight. And they're prowling for prey. Oh my gosh. There's a scorpion. Get back! Reporter: Scorpions. Not in the desert, but in people's houses. Ouch. Ouch? Yeah. Don't touch it. Reporter: In Arizona alone, 12,000 stings are reported every year. Spawning businesses like this scorpion sweeper. To offer homeowners peace of mind. Suited up like ghostbusters this team hunts the creatures that haunt Arizona homeowners. They lift their tail, they aim it at you, and they do this little charge. They are the creepiest, most menacing bugs. Four sweeps tonight -- Reporter: Ben Holland started this company a decade ago when he graduated from college. We are technically exterminators but we do it without pesticides, chemicals, dust or granules. Reporter: Scorpions are virtually invisible at night. Unless you look at them under blacklight. These are our lights. Reporter: The sweepers swarm late at night to protect the homefront, one stinger at a time. This right here is a perfect example of a habitat for scorpions. It's a crack within the wall there. That's the best spot they love. They love those. Reporter: Tonight Ben is with Toby Riley at a home where they once caught 96 scorpions. That's right, 96. This is where I see them, along this back wall, right on the edge. Reporter: It ain't cheap. $200 for the first visit, then weekly sweeps, each one at least $150. We run into a lot of different creatures. We'll see snakes, havalina, coyotes, scorpions, black widow spiders, brown recluses, dangerous stuff people want to stay away from. Reporter: Every time they see that creepy glow under the uv light, they get to grabbing. From a wall -- Playing dead. Reporter: To a palm tree. Nice. Reporter: Even in the grass. You've got to be quick. When you go after them, you can't think, just grab them. They can feel you coming at them. Reporter: While their clients sleep, no shoe or toy goes unturned. Lifted that car with one hand. Reporter: At just two homes they catch 35 of the most venomous scorpions in the united States. Homeowners get freaked out. A lot of people have newborns. Anybody's going to be concerned when they have a baby. The venom from the Arizona bark scorpion is most dire to newborns, infants, people with immune division cis. Reporter: While some people pay to get rid of tease these pests, amateur scorpion hunters like Richard airy are getting up close for a different reason. This is the first scorpion I ever described. Reporter: Hoping to discover new species. He's already helped discover 12. How many of these live scorpions do you have in the house? More than one. Reporter: He says it costs $5,000 of his own money to find and analyze his discoveries. What's amazing is there are plenty of things to be discovered right here in America. This whole view right here -- Reporter: Most of Richard's discoveries, like this, were found right here in Arizona. You have to know where to look. This skeptical volunteer we met at a camp site has been here all summer. How many scorpions have you seen? I haven't seen a single one. Not a single one? Not a single one. No snakes, no scorpions, just cattle, that's it. Reporter: Airy is convinced they're here. As the sun sets over our campfire, it's time for s'mores and to get serious. Before we get into this tonight, let me ask you a question. Yes, sir. How many times have you been stung? Never. Reporter: It's hard not to consider the grave consequences to yours truly as we set out into the night. Come out come out wherever you are. Reporter: These eight-legged nightmare makers have me on edge. Whoa. . Reporter: A bit of arack know phobia. Whew, biggest scare of the night. Reporter: Soon a sighting. Keep that on him. Got him. Reporter: Then it's my turn. The scorpions are tiny. Richard reminds me they pack a powerful sting. We've got another scorpion in the rock. And with rich's super vision I'm going to try and use the tweezers and get it into the sample jar there. Here we go. Wish me luck. I'm praying for you. Is there antivenom? First aid kit? By the tail, right? My gosh, there it is. Good job. Reporter: It will take time to compare these scorpions to others. We got another one here. We sure do. Reporter: Richard believes the species we found is unknown to science. How'd we do? Perfect. I was predicting finding 12 of them on the way up. And we have nine of them in the jar. If this is confirmed as a new species, might I suggest the name nightlinus claytonius? Reporter: In the end Richard says the threat of stings, which are seldom fatal, is worth the reward of discovering something new. Every time I see one glow like that it makes my day, I love it. When I get done with these, I'm going to get to write another paper. More than likely it's going to be a different species. And I get to name it. Reporter: For "Nightline," I'm Clayton Sandell in cottonwood, Arizona.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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