What you need to know about scorpion sightings and stings

Scorpions heading inside San Antonio area homes to avoid summer heat

SAN ANTONIO – Humans aren’t the only life form looking for cooler places during the summer.

Scorpions sightings are increasing around San Antonio as we head into the hottest months when scorpions are most active.

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If you have noticed them around your home, do not try to get rid of them on your own. It can be dangerous and oftentimes ineffective, according to World Wide Pest Control.

KSAT reporter Japhanie Gray found a scorpion in her home over the weekend and, full disclosure, I found one in my pants - while I was wearing them - a couple of years ago.

Eek!! Stay away from these dangerous critters in San Antonio and South Texas

Scorpions are nocturnal and can typically be found under rocks, stones, logs or landscaping materials but they’ve also had a reputation of being found in shoes. Other areas scorpions can be found in your home include cluttered spaces and clothing piles, according to Preventative Pest Control.

During hot, dry weather, they may seek out water and a more hospitable environment, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Entomologist Molly Keck told KSAT in 2018.

Texas has 18 species of scorpions with the most common species in the Central and South Texas area being the striped bark scorpion, according to AgriLife Extension Service entomologist Wizzie Brown.

The scorpion is yellowish-tan with two dark stripes that run along the back and can grow up to 2½ inches long, said Brown.

Striped bark scorpions can sting, but for most people, the sting usually only causes moderate reactions and the poison has little effect on a person’s nervous system, Brown said.

These hairy caterpillars in San Antonio are cute, but don’t touch

An ice pack is usually sufficient enough to reduce pain and swelling, but Brown cautions to keep an eye out after a person is stung.

“The severity of the sting is dependent upon the individual scorpion and the person’s reaction to the venom,” Brown said. “A person stung by a scorpion should be watched closely for several hours following the incident to ensure an allergic reaction does not manifest. If breathing becomes difficult or hives occur, seek immediate medical attention.”

Here are tips to keep safe from scorpion stings courtesy of AgriLife Today:

  • When working outside, wear leather gloves to avoid being stung.
  • Keep debris and firewood away from the house.
  • Prune any trees or shrubs touching or hanging over the house.
  • Keep grass near or touching the house closely mowed.
  • Replace weather-stripping around doors and windows as necessary.
  • Fill weep holes in stone, brick or stucco homes with steel wool, copper mesh or screen wire.
  • Seal cracks, crevices and areas of pipe penetration in exterior walls with sealant.
  • Keep window screens in good repair and make sure they fit tightly into the window frame.
  • Treat the foundation of the home with a pesticide with ingredients such as permethrin, cypermethrin, deltamethrin, carbaryl or propoxur.
  • If scorpions are found, the entomologists suggest applying pesticides around the foundation of the house and up to 1 foot above ground level on the exterior walls. They also suggest applying pesticides around doors, windows, eaves and other potential points of entry.
  • Indoor treatments should be directed at potential points of entry as well as corners, cracks and crevices where scorpions can hide. Follow label directions for dosage, mixing and application methods.

In summation, be vigilant when you’re at home, making sure to keep an eye out for scorpion hideouts and if you notice scorpions in your home, call the professionals to help exterminate your home.

About the Authors

RJ Marquez is the traffic anchor/reporter for KSAT’s Good Morning San Antonio. He also fills in as a news anchor and has covered stories from breaking news and Fiesta to Spurs championships and high school sports. RJ started at KSAT in 2010. He is proud to serve our viewers and be a part of the culture and community that makes San Antonio great.

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