Health officials warn of increase in scorpion stings during monsoon season

KOLD News 5-5:30 p.m. recurring
Published: Jul. 25, 2022 at 4:43 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Monsoon storms are doing more than keeping us all inside. They’re also bringing unwanted critters, like scorpions, into your home.

This is the perfect environment for a scorpion to escape those monsoon rains. And unfortunately, it’s your house. They can come in from any small hole or crack and then they settle in for the next couple of months. Creating a safe space for themselves, and a lot of stress for you.

Banner Health officials said they’ve received a big jump in calls for scorpion sting averaging now more than 1,000 calls for both Maricopa and Pima counties.

“For other people, one sting and they could definitely be in the emergency department,” Bryan Kuhn with the Banner Poison Control Center said before adding that a scorpion sting isn’t one size fits all.

“The very persistent myth that we keep hearing is that baby scorpions are more venomous, more toxic, produce more severe symptoms,” Kuhn continued.

Plus, he said, the age and size of the scorpion doesn’t dictate the injury.

Where these scorpions are varies now more than ever as their hiding places get a little bit more discreet.

“Monsoons, we do see an uptick in the calls. But there’s a wide distribution of scenarios of where and why people get stung around this time of year,” he said.

He said now is the time to be shaking those shoes and checking your clothes before putting them on saying: “Someone puts their hand in a robe and the scorpions in there or they try to dry themselves off with a towel… Unfortunately this time of year I wish I could say it was a consistent trend but unfortunately it’s all over the map.”

One way to avoid this? Calling a pest company to come spray your home and staying aware when reaching for something you can’t really see.

According to Banner, if you do get stung, wash off the site with some cool water and soap. Then, call the poison center (800) 222-1222 and check to see if you need further medical care.

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