Whether the thought of happening upon a bed bug makes you panic or you have a paralyzing fear of spiders, everyone has a particular pest that they’re especially worried about encountering. In many cases, even for those without a particular phobia of scorpions, coming across one of these potentially venomous eight-legged arachnids can be a harrowing thought. And unfortunately for folks living in one particular area of the country, those encounters are significantly more common than you might imagine.
To determine the specific distribution of scorpions in the United States, researchers at the University of Arizona College of Medicine–Phoenix’s Department of Child Health, Department of Medicine, and Department of Emergency Medicine tabulated the number of scorpion exposures reported to the National Poison Data System between 2010 and 2015, singling out states that had received over 100 calls annually during that period.
Among the states that had over 100 scorpion encounters annually, one had five times as many encounters as any other: Arizona. In fact, over just a five-year period, the state had a staggering 57,168 reported scorpion encounters, with the areas of Gilbert, Phoenix/Anthem, Catalina Foothills, Phoenix, and Scottsdale reporting the highest numbers of encounters. What’s more, the state (among a handful of others in the Southwest) is home to the Arizona Bark Scorpion, the only scorpion native to the U.S. with a sting known to be deadly to humans.
However, Arizona isn’t the only state in the U.S. where you might find yourself facing off with a scorpion. The study’s researchers identified eight other states with shockingly high numbers of annual scorpion encounters, too—read on to find out if your area made the list.
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Reported exposures between 2010 and 2015: 906
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Reported exposures between 2010 and 2015: 1,266
Reported exposures between 2010 and 2015: 1,401
Reported exposures between 2010 and 2015: 1,825
Reported exposures between 2010 and 2015: 1,919
Reported exposures between 2010 and 2015: 2,275
Reported exposures between 2010 and 2015: 4,537
Reported exposures between 2010 and 2015: 9,695
Reported exposures between 2010 and 2015: 57,168
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