Scorpions are common in Las Vegas and some stings require medical care. Know how to identify the two most common types so you will know if you should see a doctor after a sting.

The Scorpions of Las Vegas

Las Vegas residents know – and tourists soon find out- that scorpions are common in the area. Because these arachnids feed on spiders and insects, you will find them anywhere you find their food. As a result, scorpion extermination in Las Vegas is a valuable service that helps control these pests. Fortunately, deaths from scorpion stings are rare. The stings are painful, however, and can be lethal in the elderly, children or those who are ill. As a result, it is important to identify the two most common scorpions found in Las Vegas and to know whether you need medical treatment.

Striped Bark Scorpion

This scorpion is the most common in the area and the more dangerous. Striped bark scorpions are small at only 1 to 1 1/2 inches long and red to orange in color with two dark stripes running across their backs. Bark scorpions like to climb, and they are often encountered in sinks, bathtubs, dark closets or climbing walls and ceilings. It is the most poisonous scorpion found in the United States and stings using repeated jabs. The sting from a bark scorpion is quite painful and may cause the affected area to swell and itch for several days after the incident. Although rare, the sting of this scorpion can cause death to small children, the elderly and those allergic to the venom, so seeking medical care after a sting is wise.

Desert Hairy Scorpion

The largest scorpion in the United States, the desert hairy scorpion can be up to 6 inches long. Identified by yellow legs and tail with a black back, this scorpion is frequently kept as a pet. The desert hairy scorpion is venomous but a sting typically causes only temporary discomfort, and it is not considered medically significant. This scorpion will sting without hesitation when cornered or surprised but is much more likely to run away from you if given the chance to do so.

Minimizing Contact

Scorpions typically hide during the day and come out at night, but it is possible to encounter or disturb one at any time, so be prepared. When hiking, biking or otherwise enjoying the outdoors of Las Vegas, be mindful where you step and leave rocks, logs and other potential hiding places alone. Check your shoes before sliding your feet in to them each morning to be sure no one is hiding in them and shake out clothing if you are nervous about unwanted guests. Store garage and attic items in rubber totes with lids instead of cardboard boxes and minimize the amount of time you spend walking around barefoot.