Stowaway scorpion stings Pennsylvania man

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

WARMINSTER, Pa. -- A Bucks County man got an unwelcome surprise when he returned home from a trip to the Caribbean.

Over the years, Hollie and Buddy Mullen of A-1 Exterminators in Warminster have been called on to handle all sorts of animals that got loose.

"We've done alligators, tortoises, emus, owls, 13-foot snakes," said Buddy Mullen. "We've done everything."

Now they can add a scorpion to the list.

A scorpion somehow managed to get into the backpack of a 22-year-old Warminster man who was returning home from a vacation in St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands.

"He reached into his computer backpack," said Mullen, "reached in to get his computer, and a scorpion bit him."

Then the scorpion, an elusive creature that is active at night and rarely seen, disappeared somewhere in the man's bedroom.

That's when the exterminating team was called in.

"(We) went up to his bedroom, started pulling everything apart," said Mullen. "And when we flipped his sheets, it actually fell on the ground... and we captured it."

Although scorpions are greatly feared by some, the stings from most species are not deadly. They are roughly equivalent of a bee sting and hurt just as much.

"The little ones are actually meaner and more aggressive than the bigger ones," said Mullen.

The Warminster man was taken to Abington Memorial Hospital, where he was treated and released.

His mother told Action News is doing just fine now.

Mullen told us the story should serve as a cautionary tale for others.

"I suggest everyone who goes away to islands where there is poisonous stuff and stuff like that, that you should take your stuff home and put a white blanket down and dump your stuff in there," he said. "Go through it gently with either gloves or a stick and make sure you don't have anything."