How To Deal With A (Freaking) Scorpion Sting
Sorry about the title, but this actually happened to me last night. The wife and I are in bed and everything is great. I get up, go to the bathroom (mind you this is at 3:00 AM), come back and lay down (in my own freaking bed) and WHAM! I get stung by a scorpion in my upper back.
At first, it was only a stinging sensation and I really didn’t know what happened. The wife jumps up, turns on the light and says “something just bit me.” I jump up and say, “I just got bit as well.” At this point, a sinking feeling comes over me and I know what it was. We live in Las Vegas and we see scorpions this time of year A LOT. We have killed plenty but never have gotten stung. We had no idea what it meant.
I pull back the covers and there he is. He begins squirming around (they look really weird as they move) and the wife begins screaming bloody murder. She is completely freaking out. I start freaking out. I let out a string of expletives I am VERY ashamed of at the moment. I don’t mind swearing, but only for emphasis and usually never just because. I called this scorpion every name under the sun and was doing it at the top of my lungs. My new baby boy starts screaming, the wife is going crazy, and at this point I am looking to waste somebody or something. Manliness Trait: Protect Your Family At All Costs. Right?
Not at that very moment, but much later, I thought what a great topic for a post. I spent the rest of the day figuring out what this means. Are we now poisoned? Are either one of us allergic? Could we die? All of this was going through my mind the rest of the night and into today. Following is what I discovered:
Different Types of Scorpions
Yup, there are different types – lots of them. We had to see if the one that violated my home and loved ones could kill us or just mame us. Without going into all the different species, here is what we found out about Las Vegas type scorpions:
Scorpions sting; they do not bite, although they can pinch. All scorpions are venomous, but most are harmless to humans. In general, the smaller the species, the more dangerous it is for humans (of course, it is hard to tell juveniles of a large species from adults of a small species). Bark Scorpions are the main problem around Las Vegas because their stings can be deadly. However, the stings of other species are not serious and usually result in localized pain with some swelling and tenderness. Some people are allergic to scorpion venom, and if a sting seems serious, call the National Poison Control Center toll-free at (800) 222-1222.
If you are stung by a scorpion, immediately find out what type of scorpion it is. This will answer many of your questions about what to do next. If you live out here in the Southwest USA, check this site out to find out more.
What To Do After You Are Stung
First of all, the sting of a scorpion is HORRIBLE. The venom paralyzes the scorpions prey (my wife and I). It can cause severe allergic reaction in some and you have to be wary of any neurological damage it could cause.
Bill, our diligent exterminator who we called at 6:00 AM told us to put alcohol on the sting immediately. This helps neutralize any venom around the surface. Also, because the sting can cause swelling around the actual puncture, you ice the area in intervals of 10-15 minutes. The time frame obviously is to ensure you don’t overdue the icing and actually cause more damage through frost bite.
When I spoke with the on-call nurse at the hospital, she told me the symptoms that require more attention by a doctor are dizziness, blurred vision, muscle spasms, rash, and other general allergic reaction conditions. If you don’t have these and it is only the pain of the venom that you are experiencing, then the doctors will do nothing for you. They will give you some painkillers and maybe some extra strength Benydrol in case of the allergic reaction might take time to take root.
The wife and I were not experiencing any of the allergic reaction symptoms well into the day, but we both were in plenty of pain. We stayed home from work and tried to deal with the thought of this scorpion in our bed. Not a pleasant thought.
How To Get Rid Of Scorpions
The experts vary on this, but below are some good tips I pulled from another website:
Scorpions are difficult to control with insecticides alone. Therefore, the first control strategy is to modify the area surrounding a house.
- Remove all trash, logs, boards, stones, bricks and other objects from around the home.
- Keep grass closely mowed near the home. Prune bushes and overhanging tree branches away from the house. Tree branches can provide a path to the roof for scorpions.
- Store garbage containers in a frame that allows them to rest above ground level.
- Never bring firewood inside the house unless it is placed directly on the fire.
- Install weather-stripping around loose fitting doors and windows.
- Plug weep holes in brick veneer homes with steel wool, pieces of nylon scouring pad or small squares of screen wire.
- Caulk around roof eaves, pipes and any other cracks into the home.
- Keep window screens in good repair. Make sure they fit tightly in the window frame.
In conclusion, the wife and I are doing just fine, but we experienced a horrible last 24 hours or so. Scorpions are nothing to mess around with. The one that got us was just about 2 inches in size and stung us with venom that literally paralyzed my left arm for the better part of the morning. My wife got it in her kneecap (that’s right, she got knee-capped by a freaking scorpion). She is just fine as well. The scorpion’s fate was a little different though. He was surely going to die, but in the words of Marcellus Wallace of Pulp Fiction fame, I told that scorpion “I ain’t done wit you by a damn site.” The scorpion didn’t make it.