Arizona poison center sees rise in scorpion stings as season begins

May 14, 2020, 4:00 PM | Updated: 7:37 pm
(Public Domain Photo)...
(Public Domain Photo)
(Public Domain Photo)

PHOENIX — The sweltering Arizona summer heat means the return of venomous scorpions the state is known for, and the Banner Poison and Drug Information Center is seeing a sharp increase in sting calls from last year.

“This is their season so we expected to see this increase, however, we are … 18% higher than what we were compared with last year,” Maureen Roland, the center’s managing director, told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Thursday.

Roland is attributing the rise in cases to more people staying at home and socially distancing amid the coronavirus outbreak.

This is only the start of scorpion season, as Roland said July, August and September are the peak for stings.

She says people are typically stung when they are getting out of the bed in the morning and not looking where they are going, or heading out to the pool where scorpions love to hang around.

Arizona is home to 60 species of scorpions, including the most common and dangerous known as the bark scorpion.

Roland says the bark scorpion can be found in the bark of trees, logs or piles of leaves.

A sting from a bark scorpion is very painful and can cause numbness and tingling that can travel through the body, according to the release.

Roland advises people that are stung by a scorpion to call the Banner Poison and Drug Information Center at 1-800-222-1222 to receive medical advice and what to watch out for from the organization’s registered nurses and pharmacists.

“There are varying degrees of venom reaction on the body, so some people have a mild reaction where some people can have a more severe reaction,” Roland said.

She says the main concern for scorpion bites is in children under six years of age, as they tend to have more severe reactions.

Safety measures include teaching children not to pick up animals around the house, shaking out shoes before putting them on, wearing shoes or flip flops while outside and being alert in the evening and morning since scorpions are nocturnal.

People can help keep scorpions away by clearing debris from the home, using pest control and sealing cracks or other openings.

Roland said people can also carefully scan for scorpions with a black light as their bodies will glow.

Even if a person isn’t stung, Roland says people can call the center to find out information on what to do to keep themselves safe from scorpions if they are found around the home.

Poison centers nationally are seeing a 20% increase in scorpion sting calls to their centers, according to the release.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Griselda Zetino contributed to this report. 

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

In this photo provided by Navajo Technical University, graduates at the school stand during a cerem...
Associated Press

Navajo Tech 1st among tribal universities to offer PhD

A school on the largest Native American reservation in the U.S. launched its accredited doctoral program, becoming the first tribal college or university in the country to offer such a high level degree.
16 hours ago
A Salt River Project team samples the snowpack in Happy Jack, between Payson and Flagstaff, on Feb....

Arizona’s high country could see more snow throughout next week

The National Weather Service says more snow could be coming to the Flagstaff area Saturday and again at the end of next week.
16 hours ago
(KTAR News Photo/Taylor Tasler)...

Officer shot in ‘ambush’ in south Phoenix, suspect arrested for attempted murder

An officer suffered non-life-threatening injuries after being shot Friday morning by a suspect who was identified on Saturday.
16 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park)...

Phoenix’s Pueblo Grande Museum changing name to reflect Indigenous heritage

The Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park in Phoenix is changing its name to reflect the site's Indigenous history.
16 hours ago
Courtesy Maricopa County....

New $61 million Southeast Justice Center opens in Mesa

Members of the Board of Supervisors, Justice Courts and Superior Court celebrated the opening of the Southeast Justice Center Wednesday.
16 hours ago
(AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)...

2 arrested in Mexico on charges of human smuggling in Arizona

Two people are facing human smuggling charges in Arizona after being arrested in Mexico, authorities announced Wednesday.
16 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

(Photo: OCD & Anxiety Treatment Center)...

Here’s what you need to know about OCD and where to find help

It's fair to say that most people know what obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders generally are, but there's a lot more information than meets the eye about a mental health diagnosis that affects about one in every 100 adults in the United States.
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Company looking for oldest air conditioner and wants to reward homeowner with new one

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Prep the plumbing in your home just in time for the holidays

With the holidays approaching, it's important to know when your home is in need of heating and plumbing updates before more guests start to come around.
Arizona poison center sees rise in scorpion stings as season begins