Scorpion Hunters share secrets for killing dangerous creepy, crawlers
LAS VEGAS (KSNV News3LV) —
Certain creepy crawlers in the Las Vegas Valley have a talent for torture.
Those who have been unlucky enough to feel the sting of a scorpion know it can be very painful.
But getting rid of the dangerous mischief-makers takes precision and practice.
On a hot summer night in Las Vegas, Jason Woods and his neighbors are on the hunt looking for scorpions.
They come outside armed with black lights and their trusty tongs.
"It's almost like a game,” said Woods.
Woods and his neighbors gently grip the glow-in-the-dark creatures and then crush them.
"It's a little bit exhilarating,” said Woods. "The more you find, the more fun it is.”
Nevada’s landscape and climate is paradise for nearly two dozen different types of scorpions.
According to Pitbull Pest Control, Nevada’s most dangerous is the bark scorpion.
It’s believed they arrived on palm trees, imported from Arizona.
The nocturnal predators hide under rocks, bushes, and inside shoes.
They have 8 legs, sharp claws, and tails that sting, releasing a toxic venom to ambush their prey, which is sometimes your foot.
"This is the little sucker that got me, and then my husband got it. Look at how tiny that is too!” said Jill Luke.
For Luke, the tiny terror brought a throbbing pain.
"It literally felt like I stepped on a straight pin and it went straight through my toe. It was that fast!” Luke explained.
The way your body reacts to the venom can range from dangerous to deadly.
Dr. Dale Carrison at University Medical Center says some people have severe reactions to a sting.
"Your heart rate goes way up. You start to have muscle spasms. You can have altered mental status,” said Dr. Carrison.
Dr. Carrison says for the youngest victims, “it can be life or death, particularly for babies.”
"Sometimes they can have respiratory distress where they are trying to breathe,” he continued.
Those kinds of stings require life-saving and very expensive anti-venom.
But it’s not just people who have to worry.
Scorpion stings can be dangerous even for pets.
Ruth Rullo’s dog Gizzy was stung earlier this year.
"She looked like she was dying,” said Rullo.
Rullo rushed Gizzy to Dr. Aaron Bivens at South Buffalo Springs Animal Hospital.
"Severe reactions, they go into shock and if left untreated, that can lead to death,” said Dr. Bivens.
"I wouldn't have her if it wasn't for this doctor,” explained Rullo.
Most people avoid scorpions. But not M.L. Robinson.
He’s a horticulture specialist and he’s fascinated with the pests. Robinson says these predators have a purpose.
"Yes, they can hurt people,” Robinson said. "But they're also a natural pest control.”
The best way to get rid of scorpions is to get rid of the other bugs at your house.
They feed on cockroaches, crickets, and beetles.
Removing piles of wood, rocks, and clutter will also help.
"I didn't think they'd come all the way up the porch up to my bedroom!” explained Luke.
Scorpions can get into your house through openings the size of a credit card.
Seal all the cracks in your house, especially in the baseboard and foundation.
"Part of the way to control them is to put sticky traps near your doors,” said ML Robinson.
If that doesn’t work, you can get a cat. Their fur protects them from the tiny stinger.
You can also get a pet chicken. Some chickens eat scorpions.
Woods has a chicken named Black Betty Awesome. But he says there is nothing quite like the thrill of the kill!
"Now I just catch 'em and kill ‘em,” Woods said. "I don't even mess around with them anymore.”