Scorpion encounters on the rise with more people at home

Scorpion cases on the rise

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - With the rising temperatures, scorpion season is here.

However, some poison control centers and pest control companies have been getting more calls than usual.

The Banner Poison and Dug Information Center says it’s seen an 18 percent increase in stings compared to last year.

“[Wednesday] night at 8:30, I let my dogs out like I always do out my bedroom door onto our patio. It’s well lit,” said Cindy Robinson, an Oro Valley resident. “I stepped out and felt a little sting, kind of like a cactus prick.”

Robinson says within minutes, she was in crippling pain.

“The worst pain I’ve had is bearing children and I would say it’s right up there,” she said. “I can’t even describe it. It was like searing metal. It was like a hot poker in my foot. Within 10 or 15 minutes, my whole leg was numb.”

Robinson says a scorpion was the culprit.

“He was about an inch in a half, light yellow,” she said. “I called poison control and asked them what I should do. I have a friend who had been bitten and had been to ER; he said they really can’t do much for you. So poison control said just lay down, if you have breathing difficulty, if you start having convulsions or tremors or muscle spasms go to the ER.”

Michael Boyle with Burns Pest Elimination says scorpion calls have increased by nearly 25 percent.

“There’s a lot of anecdotal evidence that would suggest it’s because people are in their homes, spending so much time [there],” Boyle said. “Remember, [people] are generating more waste, there’s a lot of water usage. We are creating a better environment. So, yeah, I would say this is definitely due to the pandemic we are in right now.”

Boyle says creating good habits can help people avoid a painful sting.

“Before I use a towel, I give it a shake. Before I put on a shoe, I bump it on the floor, I give it a shake,” he said. “Anywhere you are going to put your skin into something, just give it some movement first. That scorpion is going to go away, it doesn’t want to attack you.”

As for Robinson, she will be stepping forward cautiously.

“Now, I’m prepared,” she said.

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