If you’ve lived in Arizona for any length of time, you’ve heard it…
“Don’t worry about the larger scorpions. It’s the little guys. The babies don’t know how to control the poison in their stings and it can be deadly.”
Is this true?
Are the stings from baby scorpions more dangerous?
Do baby scorpions have more poisonous, more painful stings?
In today’s blog I want to lay out all of the facts regarding this commonly-held theory here in Phoenix and the rest of Arizona.
Baby Scorpion Stings
Let’s get it out of the way…
The venom from a baby scorpion is not more dangerous than the venom from an adult scorpion. In fact, according to physiologist Michael Quinlan from ASU…
The studies don’t necessarily support the idea that a baby scorpion in a given species is any more or less venomous than the adult. Certainly they have a harder time injecting the venom, because they are smaller.
Quinlan goes on to say…
Other people say the sting of a baby scorpion is more dangerous than the sting of an adult, but again, this is false. The venom in a scorpion’s stinger is the same all through a scorpion’s life. Perhaps the biggest myth is that all scorpions are deadly, and this is totally wrong.
But let’s dive in a bit more. The rumor is that when a baby scorpion stings you, they don’t know how to control their venom and will pump more into the sting.
This part is true.
Just like a baby venomous snake, when they sting, or bite, they will let out all of the venom. So, even though the venom itself is not more dangerous, or more potent, the fact that you will end up with all of it can make it more dangerous.
Additionally, an adult scorpion will sting quick and fast, striking a strategic blow.
A baby scorpion doesn’t know this yet, and will have more of a tendency to sting and not retract as quickly, thus injecting more venom.
Arizona’s most common scorpion, the Bark Scorpion, is dangerous no matter what age or size. If you’ve seen any scorpions in or around your home, and aren’t sure if it is a Bark Scorpion or not, don’t wait to find out.