Patti: With all this hot weather, Banner’s Poison Center is seeing an increase in scorpion stings; that’s because all the bugs like to come inside to get out of the heat, and the scorpions follow behind. They’ve had more than 70 phone calls at Banner’s Poison Center in the last 24 hours from Valley folks looking for medical advice after being stung by scorpions. Kristine Harrington spoke to a doctor today about what to do if you or a loved one is stung by a scorpion.
Kristine: Yeah, Patti. Of course, scorpions are nocturnal. They love the dark, but they love the desert heat. Of course, they were here first. Every year, some 6,000 people in Maricopa County are stung and reminded of the scorpions’ presence, oftentimes, then calling the poison control center for advice.
Female: You can’t hardly ever see where they were stung by a scorpion, at all.
Kristine: More and more people are being stung, keeping the Banner Poison Center very busy.
Frank: We’ve had an unbelievable number of calls over the past few days. We’ve had about 3 or 4 calls every hour for patients who are envenomated by scorpions in the valley.
Kristine: It seems as the mercury rises, so do the number of scorpions. It’s Ben Holland’s job, with Scorpion Sweepers, to go out and hunt them down with his ultraviolet light.
Ben: We’re finding a lot of scorpions. They’re all over the place this year; it’s much higher than last year. On a good night, we’ll get between 10 and 15. On a slow night, we’ll get 3 to 5.
Kristine: Scorpions are nocturnal but love the heat, so triple-digit temps and the dark can definitely bring the creepy crawlers out, creating an additional danger.
Ben: We find them on the walls; we find them under people’s potted plants, in their potted plants. They’re all over the place; under trash cans.
Kristine: While a scorpion sting is painful, doctors say most can be treated with Tylenol. However . . .
Frank: A scorpion when it envenomates you, it gives the same amount of venom whether you’re 300 pounds or 30 pounds.
Kristine: The sting is much more severe for babies.
Frank: Neurological effects are quite dramatic where you might see the child move uncontrollably, screaming uncontrollably.
Kristine: The doctor says your first call should be to the Poison Control Center. Extreme cases, however, may require a trip to the hospital and a dose of anti-venom.
Frank: It’s just very dramatic where you see a child who you might consider putting on a respirator for a little while to control their agitation, and it turns out that within an hour or two, they’re ready to go home.
Kristine: We’re told it’s been more than 15 years since someone in Arizona died from a scorpion sting. Nonetheless, those little guys can be lethal. The best advice is if you believe you’ve been stung, to call the Poison Center for help. Reporting live, Kristine Harrington, 3TV.
Patti: Thank you, Kristine.
With the increase in temperatures an increase in scorpion stings is reported. The increase of scorpion activity with the increase of temperatures is no secret, this news piece explores the phenomenon. KTVK Channel 3 News interviewed our founder Ben Holland as an expert on the subject in this segment.
In this news piece KTVK Channel 3 reporter Kristine Harrington covers the rise in scorpion stings with the Valley’s temperature increase. A doctor from Banner Poison Control Center discusses the symptoms and what to do if you are stung.
Channel 3 contacted Ben about an hour before the shoot. They wanted to get a story about the rise in stings before the other networks did. The entire shoot took about an hour and was shot at Ben’s home.
The scorpions used in the shoot were collected at a home in North Scottsdale in the Troon area. They were both Desert Hairy Scorpions (Hadrurus arizonensis) you can see that one had burrowed into the dirt inside the terrarium.
Scorpions start coming out in the spring when the daytime high is around 90 degrees. They are active from March through November during night time hours.