What Do You Really Know About Scorpion Stings?
There is a lot to love about living in Texas: warm weather, a strong economy, and convenient access to amenities. But there are pros and cons to every location… and scorpions are part of the package when you live in the great state of Texas.
Since there are a lot of scorpions here in Texas, it is important that you know how to prevent scorpion stings and protect your family from these pests. Today, we are covering everything you need to know about living in an area with scorpions.
Preventing Scorpion Stings
Scorpions are common in many areas, but they are especially prevalent if their natural habitat has been disturbed. For example, if you live near a new housing development, then the scorpions might be more active than normal since their nests have been disrupted.
Regardless of the risk of scorpions in your area, it is smart to be proactive about preventing stings. Follow these tips:
- Wear enclosed shoes, especially when walking outside at night
- Use protective gloves for yard work
- Wear long pants, socks, and enclosed shoes when moving firewood, rocks, or equipment outside
- Sleep in a tent instead of on the bare ground when camping
- If you are putting on shoes that were left in the garage, basement, or outside, always shake the shoes upside down before slipping your feet inside
- Shake out towels, clothing, and bedding before use
These tips are simple, but a proactive approach can save you and your family from the pain of being stung by a scorpion.
How to Prevent Scorpions from Entering Your Home
If there are scorpions in the area, then you are facing the risk of these pests sneaking into your home. Luckily, you can be proactive in managing your yard and home to reduce the risk of having these pests in your living space. Here are a few important prevention tips to help:
- Get Rid of Standing Water: Leaking hoses, buckets of water, and birdbaths can all be magnets to attract scorpions into your yard, which increases the likelihood of them coming inside.
- Seal Your Home: Inspect all doors and windows to identify areas that need to be sealed. If there are cracks and crevices, caulking can be used to block the areas where scorpions might gain access. Also, check utility lines, pipes, and all other areas around the outside of your home.
- Home Inspection: Set a reminder to do a home inspection. Look in closets, cabinets, and any other dark places in your home. Scorpions are often found in basements and garages.
- Home Perimeter: Keep the perimeter of your home clear of debris. Clean up bushes, overgrowth, or other landscaping concerns. Also, consider anything else in the yard that might bring in scorpions, such as trash, stones, boards, etc. For example, if you have a woodpile, it should be stored at least 30 feet away from the house.
- Turn Off the Lights: Turn off the outdoor lights at night to keep crickets away. Scorpions often feed on small insects, like crickets, so reducing the food source can help to minimize the scorpion population in your yard.
Insecticide products can also be used to eliminate scorpions. But remember that these products contain potent chemicals that could be dangerous to your health. It is best to hire an experienced pest control team for assistance.
What Happens if a Scorpion Stings Me?
If a scorpion stings you, then it is important to watch the symptoms so you can decide if medical treatment is needed. The specific symptoms and reactions will vary depending on the type of scorpion that stings you, as well as the way your body reacts to the venom.
Common scorpion sting symptoms include:
- Skin irritation
Out of the 90 species of scorpions found in the United States, only 18 species have been discovered in Texas. The severity of the sting depends on the species. The scorpion species in Texas aren’t regarded as dangerous because they won’t likely affect the nervous system and cause paralysis, cardiac irregularities, or death. But these stings can still be painful and result in mild or moderate reactions.
If a person has an allergic reaction or is stung by a venomous scorpion, then the symptoms can become more severe:
- Difficulty breathing
- Nausea and vomiting
- Increased heart rate
- Unusual eye, head, and neck movements
- Muscle twitching
What to Do in Case of a Scorpion Sting
In most cases, a sting from a scorpion won’t cause symptoms that require emergency medical services. If the symptoms are minor, then at-home remedies might be helpful. But it’s always smart to consult with a medical professional to avoid possible complications. Immediate first-aid can include:
- Clean: The wound should be cleaned using water and mild soap.
- Ice: Putting ice on the sting can reduce the pain and manage swelling.
- Jewelry: Remove jewelry or anything else that could interfere with circulation. The area will likely swell, which means that it needs to have room to expand. For example, if the hand is stung, then you should remove rings, bracelets, watches, etc.
- Medication: Taking an antihistamine can control the body’s response to the sting, helping to reduce the symptoms. Over-the-counter pain relievers can also be used. Always consult with a pharmacist or doctor if you are taking multiple medications.
- Cream: A topical hydrocortisone cream can be applied to the surface of the skin, which reduces the itching and inflammation.
Do I Need to See a Doctor for Scorpion Stings?
Yes, the best solution is to see a doctor when you or a loved one has been stung by a scorpion. Even if the symptoms are mild, don’t overlook the importance of seeking medical care to avoid complications from the sting.
If you notice that the symptoms are progressively getting worse, then you should go to the doctor right away. Always watch for signs of allergies. When a person has an allergic reaction, the best choice is to seek emergency services immediately, so treatment is available to prevent anaphylaxis.
Visiting an urgent care or ER can be helpful to stop the allergic response or provide necessary pain relief medication intravenously.
Special care should be taken for babies, children, and the elderly. For example, you should check your child’s immunization records to ensure that their tetanus vaccine is current. Children and the elderly can be more susceptible to complications from the sting, which is why it is recommended to visit a doctor if the child is under the age of 5. Monitor the person for complications such as vomiting, slurred speech, drooling, jerking body movements, arching back, foaming at the mouth, or closed eyes. When these symptoms are present, then it is essential that you call 911 or head to the ER without delay.
Urgent Care or ER Services for a Scorpion Sting
When you need medical services for a scorpion sting, then we invite you to visit our team of board-certified physicians at iCare ER and Urgent Care. We can start an IV with pain relief and antivenom medications if needed. One of the benefits that we offer is the combined access to both ER and urgent care services in the same office, giving you access to the optimal level of treatment for your needs.
Our experienced medical team is proud to offer local clinics in Frisco, Fort Worth, and Argyle. We provide 24/7 emergency care, as well as walk-in or by-appointment services in the urgent care. Call iCare ER and Urgent Care: (214) 407-8668.