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Scorpion Stings
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 The rattlesnake is a Pit Viper

Scorpion venom is both offensive and defensive. Grasping prey with its pincers, a scorpion's sting allows it to overcome insects and other arachnids as large as itself. When attacked by larger animals, it's painful sting wards off aggressors as large as mammals -- and scorpion venom is specifically toxic to vertebrates even though scorpions usually only eat invertebrates.


Scorpions are arachnids, related to spiders, ticks and mites. They're usually black or shades of yellow and brown and range in size from one half to eight inches long. Of the approx. 1,050 species worldwide, there are 20 known species in the U.S., mostly in the Southwest, but one species has been found as far north as Alberta, Canada. Scorpions are nocturnal and feed mostly on other insects and arachnids, using a stinger like a hypodermic needle on the end of their abdomen to paralyze their prey. Scorpions can voluntarily control how much venom is injected with each sting, and some scorpions inject no venom at all when stinging. Scorpions can survive without eating for several weeks or months.

Click to buy the Extractor Pump Kit.

Early use of the Sawyer Extractor Pump can greatly reduce the amount of scorpion venom left in the victim, thereby lessening the pain and risk of serious reaction.


Most scorpion stings are no more painful than a honeybee sting. The entry wound of a scorpion sting may not be visible. In North America only one species (Centruroides) is known to cause death in humans. These are usually yellow or brownish-yellow with dark longitudinal stripes, and grow to around three inches in length. Their pincers are long and slender as opposed to large and lobster-like. The sting, immediately and very painful, is difficult to even touch. Nearly all deaths have been in small children, the elderly, and the severely allergic. This scorpion is only found in Mexico and the extreme southwestern United States. Antitoxin for Centruroides venom is available at medical facilities in areas where these scorpions are found.


 Click to buy the Extractor Pump Kit. Scorpions hatch from eggs carried within the body of the female and are carried on her back for the first few weeks of life. Scorpions are often cannibals, and unwary larvae and juveniles are sometimes eaten by their own mother. These larval scorpions have short legs and tails, no claws, and though they have a stinger they cannot sting yet. After two weeks they molt and develop into juveniles, complete with working sting and claws. They will molt seven to nine more times (over a period of 2 to 3 years) growing larger before becoming an adult. As adults they may live for another 5 to 8 years.

Seek emergency medical help immediately if the victim has a history of serious reactions to stings or if a serious reaction seems to be developing. If the scorpion was Centruroides, post-sting manifestations may include heavy sweating, difficulty swallowing, blurred vision, loss of bowel control, jerky muscular reflexes, and respiratory distress. These serious signs are cause for quick evacuation to a medical facility.

   

 

 Scorpion Sting - Treatment and Prevention

 

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