What To Do If Stung By A Scorpion

In Panama, scorpions are usually seen in the dry season. These creatures often turn up in a dark corner of the bathroom or kitchen causing a few moments of panic. Scorpions spend much of the day hiding in dark places and come out at night seeking food and water. In dry season, these creepy crawlers have a harder time finding water outside and are more likely to find their way to an indoor water source. Scorpions prey on insects, so if can eliminate an insect problem indoor, the scorpions will have nothing to prey on.

There are many different types of scorpion species, each having different toxicity in venom. Not all scorpion stings are deadly, however some can be - especially to young children and elderly adults. Scorpion stings can also affect cats and dogs. Do not underestimate the size of a scorpion, as even young ones can produce toxic venom.

While one can hope they will never have to endure to a nasty sting, it is important to know the proper treatment for one:

Loosen clothing around the sting site. Wash the effected area with mild soap and cool water. If bleach is available, hold a cotton ball with bleach directly to the area, until the tingling or pain reduces. Bleach can neutralize scorpion venom. To reduce the swelling use an icepack or cold pack. If you are bitten on the hand or foot, elevate the area. Watch for serious symptoms such as muscle twitches, difficulty in breathing, rashes.  If the pain persists or swelling does not go down, seek medical attention. Bicorpan & Disflam are both topical creams that can be applied to reduce pain and swelling. A single dose of antihistamine (Benadryl) can also help.

Panama is home to a number of scorpion species: Tityus cerroazul, T. asthenes, T. festae, and T. pachyurus. The most severe sting cases in Panama were from the Tityus pachyurus.

Also found in Panama are the Chactidae, Diplocentridae and Vejovidae families, which are generally not considered dangerous to humans. If you are stung at the beach it is most likely from one of these less lethal Arthropods. However, it is always a good idea to identify the scorpion, especially if stung. If you seek medical attention, take the dead scorpion with you.