Certain factors can increase your risk of a scorpion sting:

  • Location. In the United States, scorpions mainly live in the desert Southwest, particularly Arizona. Worldwide, they're found most often in Mexico, northern and southern Africa, South America, the Middle East and India.
  • Environment. Bark scorpions live under rocks, logs and tree bark — hence, the name — and you're especially likely to encounter them when you're hiking or camping. Bark scorpions are also the most common house scorpion, hiding in firewood, garbage pails, bed linen and shoes.
  • Season. Scorpions are most active in spring and summer, when nighttime temperatures hover above 70 F (21 C).
  • Travel. Not only are you more likely to encounter dangerous scorpions while traveling in developing countries, you might bring them home with you. Scorpions can hide in clothing, luggage and shipping containers.
Jan. 23, 2014