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The truth about scorpion stings

A very informative talk with “Boesman” (Bushman in Afrikaans), who explains to us interesting facts about scorpions, how to recognize the most venomous scorpion types, how to catch them, how they sting, etc.

If you ever travel to the Sossusvlei or Deadvlei area (Namibia), I totally recommend his guided walks (search for “Sossus-on-foot”).

NB: A scorpion does not “bite”; it stings! 😉

Video Recap: Interesting Scorpion Facts

– Scorpions are shy creatures and very sensitive to vibrations.

– It is mainly by accident that scorpions sting people.

– One needs to be cautious when picking up a stone as they often hide underneath.

– Scorpions are very active when it is windy. In absence of wind, insects fly around. When the wind is blowing however, they cannot fly so the scorpions come out and catch them.

– Don’t make abrupt movements in presence of a scorpion; you are at higher risk of getting stung.

– Scorpions dig with their pincers so they form an elongated hole (round holes are often from mice).

– When catching a scorpion, dig a hole from underneath its hiding place.

– A scorpion cannot sting from below so you can safely hold it in your hands. If you point your finger at it, nevertheless, the animal goes for the strike.

– Not all scorpions are venomous, and fatal encounters are highly unlikely.

– Adults have stronger venom than sub-adults.

– Male scorpions are more venomous than females.

– Sexually active males have much stronger venom than those that aren’t.

– Scorpions that haven’t eaten for long are most venomous. A scorpion that has just had food has weaker venom.

– Scorpions with small pincers and a big tail have very potent venom (power is in the tail).

– Scorpions with big pincers and a thin tail have relatively weaker venom (power is in the pincers).

– In other words, if you get stung by a scorpion with a thin tail chances are that you will be just fine. A visit to the doctor is not necessary although you shouldn’t take any risks when in doubt.

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2 Responses to The truth about scorpion stings

  1. Bev Gregory April 27, 2017 at 2:17 pm #

    Thank you for a very simple explanation on how to identify the scorpions – I am putting it in my local newsletter in the hope our locals and visitors will now understand the differences. I live in a small seaside village, Jacobsbaai, on the Cape West coast where we have hundreds of scorpions.
    Regards, Bev Gregory

    • Michael Theys April 27, 2017 at 3:18 pm #

      Glad you found the explanation helpful, Bev! 🙂

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