I just moved to Arizona and am concerned about my children being stung by scorpions. What can I do to protect my children from them and if for some reason they do get stung, what should I do?
According to the University of Arizona College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, there are approximately 40 to 60 species of scorpions in Arizona, but there is only one kind - the bark scorpion - that would require medical attention if you or your children are stung. The bark scorpion is about one to three inches long, light brown in color and is one of a few scorpions in Arizona that can climb. Unfortunately, it is the scorpion most commonly found in homes and cannot be controlled with just insecticides.
The good news, however, is there are some precautions you can take to help secure your home. Below are just a few tips the Arizona Poison Control Center and the University of Arizona's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences suggest:
- Remove wood piles against your house
- Keep trash cans raised or on concrete slabs
- Keep your grass trimmed short
- Make sure all of your windows have tight fitting screens
- Calk and seal all openings to your home
- Eliminate scorpion food sources, such as crickets, and talk to your pest control service for recommendations on how to deter scorpions
- Wear shoes when walking outside
- Shake out shoes and clothing before putting them on
Scorpion stings can be most harmful to children ages 10 and younger. If you believe your child has been stung by a scorpion, seek medical treatment immediately. When a child is stung they may have increased saliva, rapid eye movements and uncontrollable crying. Adults who are stung may feel a severe sting or pain, and may experience difficulty swallowing or respiratory problems. Call Poison Control at 1 (800) 222-1222 if you have been stung. If for some reason you experience a severe reaction to the venom, there is an anti-venom that can be used to treat you as well.
By taking these precautions and being aware of your environment, you will help to decrease the likelihood of encountering a scorpion.
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