Do Scorpions Die After Stinging? (Answered)

Scorpions are some of the most interesting arachnids found on every continent, not including Antarctica. These unique animals have stingers used for attacking prey and fending off predators. Since many stinging insects, such as bees, die after stinging this raises the same question about scorpions.

Do Scorpions Die After Stinging?

Scorpions do not die after they sting. Some types of scorpions will lose their stingers, but even these can survive for several months after. It is a myth beloved by many people that these arachnids die after using their stingers.

Scorpion Stings

Striped Scorpion
Striped Scorpion “Mr_Jamsey”

Scorpions will sting for a number of reasons, from attacking prey to fending off predators. Many of them also strike out with their stingers when surprised, which is what leads to many cases of people being stung. While some scorpions produce a mild sting with only a few symptoms, others can be fatal to humans.

All scorpions will use their stingers to stun and kill prey. While there are about 1,500 species of scorpions found in the world, only 20-25 are actually considered dangerous. Most scorpion stings are mild, but some require medical assistance.

Pain and Fatalities

Even scorpion stings that only have mild effects can still be extremely painful. Some scorpions feel more like a bee sting, but others cause intense pain that can last for several hours. Most fatalities that come from scorpion stings occur in elderly people, children, people who were highly allergic, or those with compromised immune systems.

However, these stings rarely lead to death. In addition to pain, people can experience numbness or a tingling sensation around the area.

Symptoms

Northern Scorpion
Northern Scorpion | image by Bernard DUPONT via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

A scorpion sting can have other symptoms in addition to pain. These stings often also result in swelling or numbness. In some cases, people can be allergic to a scorpion sting and will most likely require a trip to the hospital.

Other symptoms include;

  • Fever
  • Sweating
  • Muscle twitches
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Restlessness

For the most part, healthy adults do not need to seek treatment, but children and the elderly should be immediately given medical care.

Treating Scorpion Stings

While most scorpion stings do not need medical treatment, there are home treatments that can alleviate symptoms. A cold compress is said to be effective in treating pain and numbness. Over-the-counter medications can also work to alleviate some of the uncomfortable symptoms.

The length of time symptoms last depends on the type of scorpion that the sting came from. Sometimes symptoms last for just a few hours but sometimes they can last much longer.

Preventing Scorpion Stings

Arizona Bark Scorpion | image by gailhampshire via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

There are plenty of ways to prevent scorpion stings in areas where these small animals are common. When camping makes sure to shake out shoes and sleeping bags. You should also be careful when moving debris in your yard or piles of discarded objects in your home or garage. Another way is to wear gloves when doing yard work in case you accidentally come across one.

Some Lose Their Stingers

In South America, some scorpions will lose their stings and the tips of their tails in order to get away from predators. Sometimes this causes them to die, but often scorpions will survive and the area will heal.

These scorpions can live for a few more months, but will eventually die. This is because scorpions lose part of their digestive tract and the ability to poop, causing excrement to build up over time.

What To Know About Scorpions

There are other interesting facts about scorpions related to their interactions with people and their habitats.

Pests

Scorpions can be considered pests in some parts of the country where they are more common. It is hard to use insecticide to control them, so people have to use multiple prevention and management strategies. Scorpions may not be considered pests because of causing damage, but most people don’t enjoy finding them in their yards or homes.

Pets

Scorpions have become a popular pet in some areas, especially types like the hairy desert scorpion that are not typically aggressive. However, even as pets, these animals are known to sting even their owners. Even people who have a scorpion as a pet should not handle it more often than necessary.

Habitats

emperor scorpion

While commonly associated with desert habitats, scorpions can also thrive in other types of environments. These arachnids can be found in forests, mountain ranges, grasslands, and residential areas. Scorpions live on every continent, excluding Antarctica.

Deterring Scorpions

There are plenty of ways that people can deter scorpions from their homes to prevent the likelihood of running into these arachnids. This includes clearing the yard of debris like wood piles, keeping the grass mowed, using sealant around cracks of the home, plugging any holes into the house, and keeping storage bins above the ground.

Applying insecticide is also helpful and there are multiple natural options. Natural deterrents of scorpions are cinnamon oil, peppermint oil, rosemary oil, and clove oil.

Hunting Habits

Scorpions are fierce predators in their habitats, usually waiting to ambush prey that gets close enough. They use their stingers to stun and kill, as well as their pincers. The scorpion diet includes crickets, spiders, flies, small lizards, and even other small scorpions.

Conclusion

Scorpions are interesting arachnids found around the world, and they are known for strong stingers that can take down prey. This can also be painful for humans but is not harmful to the scorpion itself.