The bark scorpion is the most venomous in the U.S. Unfortunately, it’s also the most common scorpion found in homes.
- The bark scorpion measures from one to 1.5 inches in length
- Color is not a good way to identify this scorpion
- This scorpion can climb anything but clean plastic and glass, and will be found on ceilings, cement walls, shower curtains, in clothing closets and food storage areas
- They are most active at night and like places that are dark and damp
- To find them in a house use a black light after dark - under the black light they glow the color of a green glow stick
Symptoms in Children
For children under 10, pain/numbness and/or tingling can occur. Watch for face/nose rubbing, indicating numbness and tingling. Children are more likely to develop severe symptoms, including rapid, jittery eye movements and increased salivation.
Symptoms in Adults
Symptoms usually appear within 2 to 3 hours following the sting:
- Local pain/burning sensation; no swelling or redness
- Numbness and tingling moving through the body
- Visual disturbances and/or uncoordinated eye movements
- Difficulty swallowing and swollen tongue sensation, excessive drooling
- Slurred speech
- Muscle twitching
- Restlessness and irritability
- Respiratory problems with possible respiratory arrest
Treating a Sting
If you are stung by a scorpion, call the poison center at (800) 222-1222. We’ll provide first aid suggestions and follow up to make sure you did not have a dangerous reaction.
If you are visiting or live in a bark scorpion-prone area, you need to take special precautions:
- To prevent scorpions from climbing or falling into a baby's crib, move the crib away from the wall, take off any crib skirts that reach to the floor, place the legs in glass jars and you might want to consider building a scorpion shield over the crib
- A scorpion shield is a light weight rectangle of plastic or foam core board, cut to be bigger than the crib or bed and hung from the ceiling over the crib. A strip of sticky tape or glue board can be used around the edge to catch scorpions that fall from the ceiling
- Roll back bed linens and check for scorpions before getting into bed
- Shake or examine all clothing and shoes before putting them on
- Move furniture and beds away from the walls
- Wear shoes when outdoors, especially at night around swimming pools
- Be especially careful of wet/damp towels in the bathroom and pool area
Buying a Home
Planning to buy a home? Learn how to determine if a home has a scorpion problem in our Poison Prevention tips.
If you have questions, please call us directly at (602) 253-3334 or call (800) 222-1222 for your local poison center.