I hate these little buggers.

I mean, HAAAAAAAAATE them.

Very few things have the ability to creep me out, with the exception of creep-crawlies, like spiders, and these little guys. Yep, we're talking about scorpions.

Gottfried Helnwien/Mercury Records

No...not THOSE Scorpions, although "Wind of Change" is pretty epic.

We're talking about Centruroides vittatus. The most common scorpion in Texas, the Striped Bark Scorpion, is one of 18 different scorpion species found in the Lone Star State. It, however, is not the most dangerous scorpion in the U.S., although ALL of them can provide a very nasty sting which could lead to an allergic reaction and painful swelling. Of those 18 species, only eight are found in West Texas, and none are truly considered lethal.

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That's right, we've all heard how a scorpion's sting can kill. But in Texas, that's really not the case. Stings from Texas scorpions generally produce only moderate reactions in most people because the poison has little effect on the nervous system. It just hurts a bit. In fact, the only scorpion species in America that has been reported to cause a fatality is the Arizona Bark Scorpion (Centruroides exilicauda), and even those are found primarily in the Sonoran Desert.

Here is an example of one under ultraviolet light. They glow.

Photo by Shayna Take on Unsplash

Should you be stung by a scorpion, there's no need to lose your cool. The best treatment is simply to take or apply an antihistamine to the area and use a cold compress to keep swelling down. That's it. The same rule applies for pets who may be out at night (since scorpions are also nocturnal). Fido is probably going to yelp in pain if he encounters one, but again, the scorpion's toxin is not nearly powerful enough to cause serious damage. Puppy Benedryl should handle it.

Just be careful at night and watch under rocks, piles of wood, etc. as those are the preferred hiding places. Take the same precautions that you would around snakes and Black Widow spiders and you should be good.

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