By Sarah Correa-Dibar
With new exposure to this scorpion inhabiting Florida, there are concerns for its dangers that should be put to rest.
We have been taught to be wary of scorpions – don’t get too close and most importantly do not touch or step on it. If you do, you’ll get stung and will have to be rushed to the hospital. But those are only the stereotypes. The now-trending Giant Whip Scorpion defies those theories.
Researchers at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) debunk these stereotypes and tell us what to do if one crosses your path.
Not Dangerous After All
Although they check all the boxes for a scary critter (jet-black, almost the size of an adult hand, and scary legs), this scorpion won’t hurt your pets or kids if they encounter it in your backyard.
If they have to defend themselves, they will spray a non-venomous acid that does not cause harm other than making the eyes and nose sting. It does not harm the skin, but UF/IFAS recommends washing your hands with soap and water if sprayed so as to not rub your eyes with it.
Just because the scorpions have been trending on social media platforms, it does not mean it’s late to the Florida party! These calm critters have been native Floridians for centuries.
More specifically, they live in sandy soil such as long-leaf pine sandhills and coastal dunes. They often burrow under logs or anything close to the ground.
If you see one in your backyard, chances are they came with company. But don’t bother getting rid of them. They’ll take care of the home you graciously provided them by feasting on the cockroaches and millipedes that will otherwise find their way to your home or fruitful garden.
We understand your worries brought on by the popular kid on the block, but there is no need for the nervous breakdown. The giant whip scorpions are nothing to fear.