Scorpions are easy to spot. They always have eight legs, two pincers on the front, and a segmented tail that curves over their back with a stinger at the end of it. They prefer to live in warmer climes but they can be found in a huge variety of places around the world. In fact, the only place you won’t find them is Antarctica.
Of over 2,500 species, only 25 have venom that can kill a human. It’s worth talking to your local pest control company regarding which species are in your area. This will help you to prepare for a sting. In fact, you should find out more from your local expert about all the pests that you may encounter, from mosquitoes to rodents.
Identifying the Sting
Scorpions usually only sting humans if they feel threatened. It’s possible they can feel threatened and sting you without you being aware they are there. If you’re not sure what has stung you then consider the following, they are signs of a scorpion sting:
- Intense pain
The pain from a scorpion sting is usually more intense than a bee sting.
- Numbness & Swelling
If this happens around the area of the sting then it’s likely you’re dealing with a scorpion sting.
- Muscle Twitching
This is a more severe symptom but does help you to identify the sting. Muscle twitching includes unusual and uncontrolled movements, usually of the head, eyes, and neck.
You may also drool, vomit, sweat profusely, and experience a drop in heart rate and pressure.
Wash the Area
The first thing you need to do with a scorpion sting is to wash the area with soap and warm water. This removes bacteria helping to reduce the likelihood of the sting becoming infected.
The second stage is to place a cold compress on the wound. This should be tight and held in place for ten minutes. You may have to replace the compress during this time if it warms too quickly.
You should soak a cotton ball in bleach and then hold the cotton ball against the sting site for approximately five minutes. It will tingle, you need to hold the cotton ball in place until the tingling stops. This can neutralize the venom from the scorpion.
While doing this you should elevate the affected area above the level of your heart. It will reduce blood flow, minimizing the spread of venom.
Get Medical Help
If you think the scorpion may have been poisonous you now need to get medical help. This is one time it is definitely better to be safe than sorry. You’ll want to visit the emergency room or call the poison helpline and then follow the instructions they give you.
Being aware of what scorpions are in your area and whether they are poisonous will help to prevent you from being stung. But, if you are stung then don’t panic, the above steps will help to relieve the pain and deal with the issue.
Image Credits: Steve Buissinne