ARIZONA NEWS

Creepy-crawly alert: Valley poison control center warns about scorpion and spider season

Apr 22, 2024, 4:35 AM | Updated: Apr 23, 2024, 11:45 am

Scorpions and spiders a bigger threat to Arizonans as temps rise...

Health officials warned Arizonans to keep an eye out for spiders, scorpions and rattlesnakes. (File photo: Auscape/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

(File photo: Auscape/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

PHOENIX — As temperatures rise, scorpions and spiders emerge from hiding, prompting an increase in envenomation calls, notes the Banner Poison Control Center.

The center’s director, Maureen Roland, said they typically get thousands of reports of scorpion stings a year. In fact, the center received over 3,000 scorpion envenomation calls in 2023.

To keep numbers down this year, officials warned Arizonans to be alert in a Friday announcement.

“Children are a greater risk for severe effects, so it is important to call the Poison Center right away if someone is bitten or stung,” Roland said.

Officials shared a few steps Arizonans should take if they are stung or bitten:

  • First, don’t panic; that can make the situation worse.
  • Second, wash the area of the bite or sting with soap and water.
  • Third, apply a cold compress to the wound to reduce pain and swelling.

Don’t use home remedies like ice, tourniquets or heat, the center added. They can do more harm than good.

Contact the Banner Poison and Drug Information Center at 1-800-222-1222 if you or the person who was injured is having trouble breathing, chest pain, muscle spasms or severe swelling.

Threat of scorpions and spiders rises as Arizona heat ramps up

Creepy-crawlies aren’t the only animalistic dangers that come hand-in-hand with hotter weather. The center also warned residents to watch out for rattlesnakes. They’re already lashing out.

In early April, a rattlesnake bite sent a 3-year-old boy to the hospital. He had been hiking with his grandfather on Granite Mountain trail, which is in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve.

Roland said the center typically receives slightly more than a dozen cases of rattlesnake bites involving children each year.

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Creepy-crawly alert: Valley poison control center warns about scorpion and spider season