While most people tend to associate scorpions with desert climates, they can be found on every continent in the world, with the exception of Antarctica. Here in the U.S., these pesky stinging insects prefer warmer climates, especially those of Arizona and California. Sadly, most people tend to lump them in with spiders by assuming they like to hunt humans and that they are deadly. The good news is that this really isn’t true, instead, they like to remain hidden as they are somewhat shy by nature and only sting when they feel threatened.
Are Scorpion Stings Deadly?
This is yet another myth that has been perpetuated by the movies, TV shows, and many others. To be sure, a scorpion’s sting can be and generally is quite painful. But, unless your immune system is weakened, you have allergies to other stinging insects, or you have a heart condition, you are not likely to have a serious reaction to a scorpion sting.
Scorpions are much happier if they can run away from you and hide. They will only sting as a last resort even when hunting. In fact, when they go on the hunt, scorpions tend to use their front pinchers as a way to grab their prey and rip it apart. However, if you attempt to handle a scorpion, you are likely to be in for a nasty surprise when it stings you.
According to a report issued by the VIPER Institute at the University of Arizona, there are over 8,000 reported cases of scorpion stings each year in the state of Arizona. This number does not cover the number of people who are stung and simply don’t take the time to report it. You should be aware that a scorpion sting can inject toxins that cause nerve poisoning that needs immediate attention.
Did You Know?
While none of the scorpions living in your garden or under your house may not seem very old, as a species the scorpion is ancient. In fact, when you look at a scorpion, you are truly looking at a dinosaur. Fossils have been found that show scorpions existed as far back as 430 million years. Not only this, but the fossils found show that the scorpions of today bear a very close resemblance to their ancient ancestors. This means they are a very hardy member of the insect family and that they can be pretty hard to kill.
While there are more than 70 different species of scorpion known to be living in the United States, most are not thought to be deadly to humans. Of these, there are three varieties that are considered to be common in both Arizona and California.
The Arizona Hairy Scorpion
This variety is yellowish in color and has black markings on its back. They can be found throughout Arizona and Southern California. Although they do sting and inject venom into their victims, the venom is not thought to be dangerous to people.
The Bark Scorpion
This is another yellowish colored scorpion that is found living in trees in California and New Mexico but predominantly lives in Arizona. This variety is considered to be the most venomous in the U.S. Medical experts agree that the venom can be very dangerous to people.
The Stripe-Tailed Scorpion
This one has a brown colored body with dark brown stripes along its upper body. They also live in Southern California and Arizona, but while they are venomous, they are not considered deadly to humans.