What to Know About Scorpions in Utah

  • 01 of 05

    Utah Scorpions

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    According to Utah State University, the following scorpions are found in Utah:

    • Anuroctonus phaiodactylus (Wood Scorpion), large scorpion found in the Great Basin
    • Centruroides exilicauda (Arizona Bark Scorpion), medium scorpion found in Kane County
    • Hadrurus arizonensis (Giant Desert Hairy Scorpion), large scorpion found in southwestern Utah
    • Hadrurus spadix (Black Hairy Scorpion), large scorpion found in southeastern Utah
    • Paruroctonus becki, medium scorpion found in Washington County
    • Paruroctonus boreus (Northern Scorpion), medium scorpion found in all of Utah
    • Paruroctonus utahensis (Eastern Sand Scorpion), medium scorpion found in southeastern Utah
    • Vaejovis confusus, medium scorpion found in western Utah
    • Serradigitus wupatkiensis, small scorpion found in southeastern Utah
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  • 02 of 05

    Glowing Scorpions

    glowing scorpion
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    Scorpions "glow in the dark," or at least they fluoresce with neon shades of yellow, green, and blue when exposed to a black light. Taking black lights into the desert at night to look for scorpions has become a popular pastime in Utah's desert country. One of the most popular places for this activity is Sand Hollow State Park near Hurricane, Utah.

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  • 03 of 05

    Arizona Bark Scorpion

    arizona bark scorpion
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    All scorpions have a venomous sting, but usually, these are no more dangerous than the sting of a bee, wasp, or ant. The one Utah scorpion that is considered dangerous is the Arizona Bark Scorpion, which can be found in Kane County, in extreme south-central Utah. The venom of the Arizona Bark Scorpion can cause systemic poisoning.

    According to the Mayo Clinic, signs of systemic poisoning from a scorpion sting include the symptoms listed below.

    Children who have been stung by a bark scorpion might experience:

    • Pain, which can be intense, numbness and tingling in the area around the sting, but little or no swelling
    • Muscle twitching or thrashing
    • Unusual head, neck and eye movements
    • Drooling
    • Sweating
    • Restlessness or excitability and sometimes inconsolable crying

    Adults are more likely to experience:

    • Rapid breathing
    • High blood pressure
    • Increased heart rate
    • Muscle twitching
    • Weakness

    If you notice any of these symptoms after a scorpion sting, seek medical attention. Get to a doctor or call 911. You can also call Utah Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222.

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  • 04 of 05

    Avoiding Scorpions

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    To avoid being stung by a scorpion, don't walk around barefoot where scorpions are known to live, especially at night. Inspect shoes and clothing before putting them on, especially if they have been on the floor or the ground. Keeping work boots or gardening gloves in sealed bins will deter pests. Don't put your hands where you can't see, whether at home, in the garage, or outside. If you think you might encounter scorpions, spiders, or other pests, wear work gloves.

    Here is advice for avoiding scorpion stings:

    • Close or caulk door openings, screen openings, and window crack so scorpions can't get into the house.
    • Dust and vacuum in corners and normally undisturbed places where scorpions hide.
    • Eliminate the scorpion's prey (crickets, spiders, and other insects) by using common pesticides.
    • Common pesticides don't work well on scorpions. Contact a professional pest control company if considering applying chemicals.
    • Eliminate outdoor places where scorpions can hide, such as trash piles, rock piles, decaying wood, or piles of junk.
    • Don't walk around the house at night in bare feet.
    • A professional pest control company can do a "blacklight" inspection to determine if there is a scorpion infestation ​since scorpions glow.
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  • 05 of 05

    First Aid for Scorpion Stings

    first aid using cold compress on elbow
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    Most scorpion stings are no more dangerous than a bee sting, and they can be treated by applying ice packs and taking pain-relieving medication such as aspirin. No one has died of a scorpion sting in the United States in at least 40 years. However, bark scorpion stings can be severe, so heed this advice:

    • Scorpion stings showing signs of anaphylactic shocks, such as hives, wheezing, dizziness, chest pain or shortness of breath, will need emergency medical care.
    • Bark scorpion stings can cause muscle spasms, random movements, and tremors of the neck or eyes, restlessness, anxiety, agitation, and sweating, especially in kids. There is often severe pain at the site of a bark scorpion sting but rarely swelling.
    • Call 911 for suspected bark scorpion stings or anaphylactic reactions. If 911 is not available, take the victim to the emergency department as quickly as possible.
    • If the scorpion is still at the scene of the crime, either trap it under an inverted jar (slide a piece of paper under the jar and flip the whole thing over to catch the scorpion) or pick it up using 8-inch or longer tongs.