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An Arizona Senator Sustains A Scorpion Sting Within Her Bed

Scorpions can be found in several states along the Gulf Coast and even as far north as Kentucky, but the most abundant and diverse scorpion populations exist in the southwest states of Arizona, New Mexico, California, Nevada, Utah and Texas. The most venomous species, which still kills scores of people every year in Mexico, is the bark scorpion, which is most abundant in Arizona, but the species can also be found in southwest New Mexico, southeast California and the southern regions of Nevada and Utah. Not even experts like entomologists and pest control professionals are exactly sure as to how many scorpion species have been documented in Arizona over the years, but the number is somewhere in between 40 and 60 species. Unfortunately, the dangerous bark scorpion is the most commonly encountered scorpion in Arizona, and it is also the species most often found within homes in the state. Hopefully, this is not the scorpion species that recently stung Arizona state Senator Sine Kerr last month while she was sleeping in her bed.

At 3:00 AM on a Tuesday morning, Senator Kerr suddenly awoke to an intense throbbing pain in her hand. As it turned out, the Senator’s left thumb had been stung by a scorpion that was crawling around within her bedding. Needless to say, the Senator did not notice the scorpion in her bed before retiring late the night before, but it many have climbed into her bed while she and her husband were sleeping. The scorpion was found below her sheets, and although it was Senator Kerr who sustained the sting, it was her husband that seemed most frightened of the arachnid, as Senator Kerr ended up squishing the fierce creature. But before she did, the Senator captured video footage of the scorpion on her phone, which she later posted to Facebook where it can still be viewed. The Senator claimed that the sting had been very painful, and it took a whole 15 hours to subside.

Do you ever check your bedding for creepy-crawlies before going to bed at night?

 

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Well Over 1,000 Scorpion Sting Cases Have Been Reported In Arizona During 2019

Well Over 1,000 Scorpion Sting Cases Have Been Reported In Arizona During 2019

The types of pests that invade homes in the United States vary tremendously depending on the region. For example, according to Census Bureau data, around 15 percent of households in New York City are infested with rats, while cockroaches, another abundant pest in the Big Apple, are present within only 16 percent of households in the city. However, in Phoenix, only 3 percent of homes are believed to be infested with rats, but a whopping 20 percent of homes in the city are infested with cockroaches. Although cockroaches are abundant across the US, most people would likely be surprised to learn that a sprawling Arizona city sees a greater number of roach-infested households than New York, especially since Phoenix is nearly one eighth of New York City’s size in terms of population. As much as cockroaches are hated, at least they don’t inflict venomous stings that could send humans to the hospital. Unfortunately, for Arizona residents, scorpions also invade homes during the spring and summer months in the state, and they are not gracious guests. Two years ago, Arizona’s only two poison control centers reported that around 12,000 people per year sustain scorpion stings in the state. Since the start of the 2019 year, more than 1,000 scorpion stings have been reported in all Arizona counties except for Maricopa, which alone contains more than half of Arizona’s entire population.

In addition to being very painful and even life-threatening, scorpion stings can also lead to hefty hospital bills. For example, back in 2012, Marcie Evans was billed 83,000 dollars for a much-needed dose of antivenom after she sustained a sting from a bark scorpion. Bark scorpions are the most venomous scorpions in Arizona, and they also account for the greatest amount of sting cases reported in the state. The Valley had long been a natural scorpion habitat until the region was settled by humans over a century ago. This partly explains why scorpion sting cases are particularly high in Maricopa County, but as it turns out, bark scorpions are one of the few scorpion species that are not only capable, but also seem to enjoy crawling up a home’s interior and exterior vertical walls. Strong insecticides can take care of indoor scorpion infestations, but Arizona residents should always be mindful of their surroundings, as scorpions sometimes appear in urban centers of the state.

Have you ever found a scorpion crawling on you, but did not sustain a sting?

 

 

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The Largest Scorpions In The World Can Be Found In Arizona

The Largest Scorpions In The World Can Be Found In Arizona

It goes without saying that Arizona is known for its numerous arachnids, most notably scorpions and tarantulas. Any good real-estate professional in Arizona is sure to warn potential home-buyers in the state about the many local wildlife hazards that can pose a threat to residents, and arachnids are certainly one of these wildlife hazards. Although they may be a nightmarish sight and venomous, the tarantula species that are native to Arizona are next to harmless, and will not inflict bites that are any more painful than bee stings. This is not the case for another group of arachnids within the state–scorpions.

The Arizona bark scorpion is easily the most venomous scorpion species in Arizona, and while their venom is potentially deadly, very few people in the state have succumbed to bark scorpion stings since the introduction of an effective antivenom. A far less venomous, but much scarier looking scorpion species in Arizona would be desert hairy scorpions. There are numerous hairy scorpion species residing in Arizona, and hairy scorpions represent the largest family of scorpions in all of North America. These wicked looking creatures can grow to be around seven inches in length. Unfortunately, these massive scorpions are sometimes found in residential areas, and even within homes, as this scorpion group gravitates toward watered lawns and ornamental plants in order to capture and feed on their beetle prey that are also attracted to these common features of suburbia. Interestingly, desert hairy scorpions have the longest lifespan of all scorpion species worldwide. The oldest hairy scorpions die at around 25 years of age, while most specimens live for 10 to 15 years in the wild, and for 15 to 20 years in captivity. Although not territorial, desert hairy scorpions will not hesitate to attack when provoked. When properly motivated, a hairy scorpion will intimidate prey and humans by raising their legs in the air while vertically situating themselves with the assistance of their strong tail.

Have you ever found a scorpion specimen in the wild that you believe exceeded 7 inches in body length?

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A Tenant Collected Dozens Of Scorpions From His Infested Phoenix Apartment After His Wife Sustained A Dangerous Sting From One Of The Arachnids

Scorpions are not usually considered to be household pests; instead, the arachnids are commonly believed to be dangerous to humans only when they are encountered in the wild. This assumption makes a bit of sense. After all, scorpions have adapted to thrive within diverse environmental conditions, including some of the harshest environments on the planet, so why would they need to seek refuge within homes? As it happens, this assumption is ultimately wrong, and if you are an Arizona native, you likely know this already. In reality, scorpions infest homes and buildings frequently in Arizona and other nearby states. For example, during the early summer of 2017, one couple’s north Phoenix apartment unit became infested with numerous scorpions that were capable of dealing out painful and potentially dangerous stings to humans.

Shortly after moving into their new apartment, Christian Costanzo and his wife realized that their unit was already occupied by dozens of scorpions. For several days, the couple spotted several scorpions both inside and outside of their apartment unit, but once Costanzo’s wife sustained a sting, the couple decided to notify the apartment’s front desk workers about the horrific and hazardous infestation within their unit. Unfortunately, Costanzo claimed that he and his wife were laughed out of the office by an employee after complaining. At one point, the couple were even told that their situation was a natural consequence of living within Arizona. Understandably, this response did not satisfy the couple, so they took their complaint straight to the manager who then sent a pest controller into the unit in order to apply insecticide. Unfortunately, this treatment did not work, as scorpions require a relatively high dose of insecticide in order to be exterminated. Frustrated, Costanzo set out to prove the seriousness of the infestation by capturing a few scorpions near and within his apartment unit. Within a mere 30 minutes, Costanzo had captured well over 30 scorpions, and he also had pictures of the arachnids within his unit as proof of the infestation. Costanzo also claimed to have killed or captured 14 specimens within his unit since he moved in six months prior. Not surprisingly, Costanzo became determined to break his lease, and after proof of the infestation was provided to a local news team, management was less resistant about allowing him to break his lease. However, when asked for a comment on the matter by the news team, the manager simply denied that an infestation of scorpions existed within the building.

Have you ever stepped on a venomous insect or arachnid?

 

 

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A Young Arizona Boy Demonstrated Serious And Bizarre Symptoms Before Nearly Losing His Life Due To Two Bark Scorpion Stings

When the hot summer months start to arrive in Arizona so do all the creepy crawlies that you want to avoid at all cost, namely scorpions. With more scorpions out and about the number of scorpion stings increase during the summer. We know what they look like and that it is important to watch out for scorpions, but most people would not know how to recognize the symptoms of a scorpion sting in a young child. One little Arizona boy suffered from an attack from one and his parents were shocked and rather confused by his extreme symptoms. They would never have known it was caused by a scorpion sting had they not caught him with the creature still crawling on him.

10 month old Jericho Lewis began exhibiting strange symptoms after being stung by a bark scorpion, one of the most common scorpions in Arizona as well as the most venomous. His grandmother recorded the child on her cell phone, and the family shared it on the Internet to show his reaction and hopefully raise awareness of just what it might look like if your own child were to be stung and have a similar severe reaction. Without knowing he was stung by a scorpion, his reaction could easily be mistaken for a child having a temper tantrum. In fact, the boy was suffering from a severe reaction to the sting. His mother, Kelsie Lewis described his symptoms, citing his red face, trouble breathing, vomiting, and darting eyes and tongue. What might not cause much harm in an adult can easily be deadly for a small child.

Where parents might get confused is that, while Jericho was stung twice, the stings were not very red or swollen, and might have not even been noticed if he hadn’t been found with a scorpion still crawling on him. His family quickly took him to the hospital, and Jericho had to be treated with two vials of antivenom in order to get rid of his symptoms. Thankfully, after just a few days the little boy was up, happy and as talkative as if the harrowing event had never taken place.

Has your child or another child you know ever been stung by a scorpion? What was their reaction?

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You Wouldn’t Believe How People Fought Scorpion Invasions Before The Emergence Of The Commercial Pest Control Industry

Scorpions are one of the most deadly arachnid groups that exist, as many species produce venom that can kill an adult human after making him/her extremely ill. Scorpion stings are notable for causing a wide range of highly unpleasant physical symptoms ranging from cardiac issues to bizarre neurological conditions. It is not unheard of for people to fall into comas in response to scorpion envenomation. Although venom antidotes have been developed to treat stings from some of the most dangerous scorpion species, many antivenoms have yet to be developed for addressing stings inflicted by other potentially deadly scorpion species. It is estimated that 2.5 billion people around the world are vulnerable to scorpion stings. Therefore, it is not surprising to learn that more than 1.2 million scorpion envenomations occur every year, 3,500 of which turn out to be fatal. The country with the greatest number of human deaths caused by scorpion stings is Brazil. For the past few years, deadly yellow scorpions have been moving into urban areas of Brazil for the first time in history, and this migration has caused a rash of deaths within the last year. In order to prevent yellow scorpions stings in urban areas of the country, many people have been putting chickens in backyards and around apartment buildings, as chickens are natural scorpion predators. Although this method of scorpion control may sound strange, such unorthodox control measures are not new to Brazilians.

During the early 1950s, the Brazilian city of Ribeirão Preto, which contained 80,000 residents, was invaded by deadly scorpions, resulting in widespread panic and numerous deaths. Between 1949 and 1951, over 10,000 scorpions were captured within the kitchens, bathrooms and backyards of people’s homes. In order to reduce the rate of scorpion sting fatalities in the city, a massive media campaign was launched to educate the public concerning the nature of scorpions and how to protect homes from being invaded by the arachnids. School students were subjected to daily lectures concerning the scorpion threat, and the city’s mayor enacted a program that entailed the capturing of scorpions by students. Numerous collection points were located all over the city and the mayor offered a prize to the student who succeeded in capturing the greatest number of scorpion specimens. Ironically, this particular public health campaign to protect residents from scorpion stings by reducing their numbers in the city only increased the risk of falling victim to potentially deadly stings.

Have you ever sustained a bite from any type of arachnid?

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What Factors Determine How Abundant Scorpions Will Become During The Summer In Arizona?

What Factors Determine How Abundant Scorpions Will Become During The Summer In Arizona?

Many people would agree that the creepiest arthropods in the United States can all be found within Arizona. While the state’s native tarantula species may be frightening to look at, they are largely harmless; instead, it is the scorpions you have to watch out for. The most venomous scorpion species that exists in the US, the bark scorpion, dwells within Arizona. When it comes to arachnids, the bark scorpion is the most significant threat to public health in the state. According to officials with Banner Medical Center in Arizona, scorpion-related medical issues are far more common than any other type of animal-related medical issue in the state. In other words, scorpions are more dangerous than coyotes, javelinas, and even mosquitoes.

Scorpion abundance within the state varies from year to year. Several climatic factors contribute to this annual fluctuation in scorpion population size. The early spring of 2016 saw a particularly large scorpion population emerge within Arizona, especially within the city of Phoenix. 2016 saw numerous residents sustain scorpion stings before the summer season arrived, and the amount of reported stings during this year has not yet been surpassed. Before March 5th of 2016, 588 scorpion stings were addressed at the Banner Medical Center, which marked a 46 percent increase over the previous year’s numbers.

When scorpions emerge unusually early in the year, as they did in 2016, then scorpion populations will become unusually large during the summer. Two factors made 2016 unusual in terms of scorpion abundance. The first factor was the remarkably wet January, and the second was the strangely hot February. When a new year in Arizona is met with such odd climatic conditions, then you can expect a scorpion-rich spring and summer. You can count of scorpions being abundant within Arizona no matter the year or climatic conditions. Once the weather becomes consistently warm within the state, then you should start to be mindful of scorpions in both outdoor and indoor environments.

Have you ever seen a massive group of scorpions attached to the interior or exterior walls of a house?

 

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Authorities Closed a Busy Street In An Effort To Protect Frightened Residents From A Scorpion That Turned Out To Be A Rubber Toy

Scorpions are the most venomous group of arachnids, but luckily, they are rarely spotted in urban areas. In the United States, the most well known scorpion species, the Arizona bark scorpion, is widespread all across the southwest. This species is well known for its highly toxic venom, which is potentially deadly to humans. The numerous other scorpion species in the US can be found within the southern half of the country.

Since scorpions avoid the daylight by hiding under rocks during the day and hunting at night, people rarely come into contact with them. It is unusual to find scorpion infestations within structures located in urban areas, but this happens on occasion during the summer months in southwestern cities. Considering the potential danger that scorpions pose to humans, scorpion sightings in urban areas are taken seriously by public health officials. For example, not long ago, residents of Lincolnshire in the United Kingdom became alarmed after learning that a scorpion had been spotted in the city’s downtown area. Several pedestrians kept their distance from the scorpion specimen as it remained motionless on sidewalk pavement. After several calls to animal control authorities by concerned and frightened residents, officials cordoned the street where the scorpion had been found. As it turned out, the panic was all for nothing, as the frightening scorpion turned out to be a rubber toy.

Animal control professional, Paula Jones, with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, received a call from a concerned resident who claimed to have seen a red scorpion on a sidewalk in the downtown area. After receiving several other similar calls from residents who had been concerned with the danger that the scorpion posed to the public, Jones had the entire busy street where the specimen was found closed-off to traffic and pedestrians. When Jones approached the alleged scorpion, she found that it was only a rubber toy, which explained why it had remained motionless during the whole ordeal. Considering that scorpions dwell in regions located far away from the United Kingdom, and that no scorpion species’ body is completely covered in a red hue, perhaps experts should have had their suspicions about this alleged scorpion sighting from the start.

Do realistic-looking toy arachnids or insects creep you out?

 

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Which Scorpion Species Are The Most Deadly?

If you have ever lived, or have gone camping in dry and arid regions, then you were likely made aware of the threat of scorpions. Although there exists a multitude of scorpion species, most of them are not life-threatening to humans. In most cases, a brutally painful sting is the worst that would happen if you were to, say, put on a shoe containing a scorpion. Many people wrongly assume that a scorpion’s body size is indicative of their venomous potential. Apparently, the bigger the scorpion, the more venomous people assume it to be. Although large-bodied scorpions may be the scariest scorpions to look at, body size is not, in any way, indicative of a scorpion’s venom-toxicity. For example, the emperor scorpion can grow to be a whopping eight inches in length, but they are relatively safe. In fact, many people keep emperor scorpions as pets. However, there are a few scorpion species that can, indeed, cause human fatalities.

The most venomous scorpion species in the world may be the Indian red scorpion. This species is typically cited by experts as being the most dangerous scorpion to humans. Victims of Indian red scorpion stings will likely experience nausea, heart problems, discoloration of the skin, and, in more severe cases, pulmonary edema, which is an accumulation of fluid in the lungs. Pulmonary edema causes shortness of breath and it can lead to death. Luckily, a drug known as prazosin can decrease mortality rates from these stings.

If you want to know which scorpion sting is among the most painful, look no further than the aptly named “deathstalker scorpion.” This scorpion species is considered one of the most dangerous in the world. Sting victims will experience increased heartbeat, high blood pressure, and even convulsions and coma. Children, the elderly and immunocompromised individuals can die as a result of this scorpion’s sting. Finally, there is the Arabian fat-tailed scorpion. This scorpion species has been known for killing children and people with heart conditions. For those not afflicted with a heart condition, the worst that will happen upon receiving a sting from a fat-tailed scorpion include unconsciousness, hypertension and seizures. If medical treatments are not sought out within a seven hour timeframe, death is likely to result from this scorpion’s sting.

Have you ever sustained a sting from a scorpion?

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You Would Not Believe What The World’s Most Venomous Scorpion Sting Can Do To A Small Child

The venom of an Indian red scorpion is, by far, the most toxic of all scorpion venoms, even more so than the venom produced by the notorious deathstalker scorpion and the Arizona bark scorpion. In addition to being the most toxic, and therefore, the most deadly form of venom, red scorpion venom, when injected into a human, causes physical symptoms more rapidly than any other scorpion venom. These scorpions pose a serious threat to villagers in India, as transportation is usually not available to these populations and small villages are normally located far from medical facilities where red scorpion stings can be treated. Most victims of red scorpion stings are Indian adults living in small agrarian villages, as most villagers go barefoot while working on local farms, therefore increasing the chances of contact between bare skin and red scorpions. Also, since these rural villages are lacking in modern construction and other forms of urban development, red scorpions dwell in close proximity to villagers and their homes. In addition to being the most scorpion affected group of people in India, rural villagers also die from red scorpion stings at greater rates than other Indian populations, as rural villagers often choose to address their scorpion stings by visiting local spiritual healers as opposed to visiting a medical facility, as urban residents almost always do. By visiting local spiritual healers before seeking modern medical aid, sting victims sometimes die before arriving at a hospital. While most red scorpion sting victims are adults, it is not uncommon for children, toddlers and even babies to be stung by these scorpions. As you can imagine, children suffer far worse than adults in response to a red scorpion sting.

A 2016 study described how being administered a common medicine called prazosin dramatically lowered the death rate of children stung by Indian red scorpions. Although prazosin has saved many lives, young victims of red scorpion stings almost always experience a range of terribly painful and life-threatening physical symptoms. These symptoms include pedal edema (the buildup of fluid in the legs and feet), pulmonary edema (fluid in the lungs), liver enlargement and cardiac failure. These symptoms are not uncommon. In fact, out of 40 children who had been hospitalized after sustaining a red scorpion sting, 80 percent experienced peripheral circulatory failure, and 15 percent developed myocarditis (swelling of the heart). One child also arrived to the hospital already dead, as his parents visited a spiritual healer first. Strangely, 5 percent of these children experienced priapism, which occurs when blood fails to exit the erectile tissues. This condition, unless treated in time, can result in lifelong impotence in males.

Have you or anyone you know ever sustained a scorpion sting of any kind? If so, was it medically serious?