Scorpions In The Grand Canyon

Scorpions are a native species to the Grand Canyon. If you are stung by one of these scorpions while taking a Grand Canyon tour, how you treat the sting depends on the reaction.

Usually people experience one of three reactions when they are stung by scorpions:

  1. A local reaction to the venom, or redness at the affected site.
  2. An allergic reaction, or the sting mark may itch.
  3. A life-threatening reaction, known as a systemic reaction. When this happens, they may have difficulty breathing or their throat may swell.

Minor Scorpions Stings

Initially, the sting of poisonous scorpions may resemble the sting of a nonpoisonous scorpion. Symptoms may include the following:

  1. Minor soreness or pain around the wound.
  2. A mild amount of swelling.
  3. Redness.
  4. Numbness or tingling.
  5. Tenderness.
  6. A small sting mark.

If The Scorpions Sting Worsens

If you are taking a Grand Canyon tour and experience more serious symptoms, contact a park ranger or hit 911, if possible, on your cell phone. More serious symptoms may include the following:

  1. Severe muscle pain close to the injured site.
  2. Swelling or itching of the throat or mouth.
  3. Trouble with breathing – wheezing.
  4. Dizziness or lightheadedness.
  5. Headache
  6. Nausea and vomiting
  7. General weakness.

The above symptoms may either result from the poison in the sting or be an allergic reaction. You should contact 911 immediately if your throat or mouth swells.

Determining the Nature of the Sting

It helps, if possible, to catch the scorpion inflicting the injury in a jar. That way, you can determine if the scorpion’s bite is considered lethal or non-lethal. Most desert scorpions do not possess lethal bites. However, the Arizona bark scorpion does have a venomous sting.

Use Soap and Water

Before touching the area, wash your hands thoroughly with warm water and soap for at least 15 seconds. Keep the affected site clean and dry. Wash the site twice daily with water and mild soap unless a doctor advises otherwise. When cleaning the area, look for any signs of infection, such as worsening redness, pain, swelling, or drainage of puss. You should contact your doctor if you note these indicators, as you may have an infection.

Apply Hydrocortisone Cream

Place an ice-wrapped cloth on the stinger mark to keep down the swelling and apply a hydrocortisone cream to prevent itching. Take a nonprescription medication, such as ibuprofen, to reduce the pain. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs), such as aspirin, may trigger stomach bleeding or similar difficulties. If you have been taking a Grand Canyon tour and are stung, always be on alert for serious symptom within the first 24 hours.

About the Author

Kyle Gooverton

Kyle Gooverton

A Grand Canyon enthusiast! A local Las Vegas resident that loves the flora and the fauna of all things Southwest.