Between spiders and scorpions, it can be hard to figure out which one creeps people out more. They’ve both got tons of legs and spooky little faces, and certain species of both of them are capable of harming humans. But are Florida scorpions dangerous? How many dangerous scorpions inhabit Florida, and which is the most dangerous scorpion in Florida? In fact – How many species of scorpions are there in Florida in general? It may come as a shock considering Florida’s overall biodiversity, but there are only three species of scorpion in Florida!
The Three Scorpions in Florida
What scorpions are in Florida? Florida’s three scorpion species are the Florida bark scorpion, the Hentz striped scorpion (also known as the striped bark scorpion), and the Guiana striped scorpion. Of these, the Florida bark scorpion is the largest. Its size falls somewhere between two and four inches. The scorpion is dark, anywhere from reddish-brown to totally black. The legs, however, are yellow. As nocturnal predators, they spend their days under rocks, logs, and other debris such as stones or junk.
The two varieties of striped scorpion are smaller, with the Hentz striped scorpion being the larger of the two on average, though some Guiana striped scorpions can grow larger than a Hentz at its largest in some rare instances. The Hentz striped scorpion is the most common scorpion in Florida, with a tannish or brown body with the possibility of green stripes running across its abdomen, though it is better known for having two dark stripes from tail to tip.
The Guiana striped scorpion is brighter and less common. With a yellow to yellow-brown body, it typically has dark patches towards the back with two dark stripes that also run tail to tip.
Though all of these scorpions possess venom and are capable of stinging, none of their stings are typically fatal. These stings can be about as painful as a wasp sting, and like with wasps, scorpion venom can, in rare instances, cause a severe allergic reaction. If you begin to experience shortness of breath, severe swelling, numbness, or other severe symptoms, you should seek emergency medical care.
Florida Scorpion Safety
While scorpions prefer to hunt outdoors, they will sometimes follow prey into the home. They are accomplished climbers and are commonly found in attics, though they prefer any place with tight spaces to crawl under. Because scorpions will seek shelter as soon as the sun starts to rise, they can be found in boots, gloves, and clothes – Be sure to shake these out before putting them on, as pressure on the scorpion’s body is the most common cause of stings.
Children and the elderly should be especially conscious of areas where scorpions can occupy, as while deaths are low, those who are in vulnerable states of constitution are at a higher risk of suffering adverse effects from a sting. If you’re going to be in a place scorpions occupy, bring a UV light such as a black light – Scorpions glow under UV light! Check beds before occupying them, and if you’re especially concerned about scorpions, turn to the professionals.
Are Florida scorpions dangerous? They can be, but usually, they aren’t, but the stings are painful. You can take comfort in knowing that pest control specialists like us can help you seal and protect your home against unwanted, stinging guests all the same. Just because they aren’t dangerous, that doesn’t mean you have to share your home with these creepy crawlies.