Are Scorpions Deadly in Costa Rica?
Known for its incredible national park and astonishing wildlife, Costa Rica is one of the most fascinating and amazing tourist spots in the world. Among half-million exotic species, the Scorpions are one of the commonly found species that have thrived in the lands of Costa Rica for eons. They are the large creatures among the terrestrial arthropods which are about 6 cm or 2.5 inches long. The male scorpions are skinnier and have longer tails than that the female scorpions. The giant’s scorpions like the black emperor which is a species found in Guinea have a body length of about 18 cm or 7 inches and weighs 60 grams. There are various poisonous scorpions found in the world, but the scorpions which are found in Costa Rica are not dangerous. Their sting does not cause any issues regarding public health or any deaths of the public. The Costa Rican scorpions do not cause a threat to human lives, except in some cases and therefore the production of antivenins is till now not considered profitable or necessary in Costa Rica. The most common variety of scorpions that exist in Costa Rica includes Margaritatus and Centruroides. These scorpions are mainly found in the dry areas of the Pacific and are also found in metro and rainforest areas but have fewer numbers.
Are Scorpions lethal to Human Beings?
As it has been stated earlier, apart from exceptional cases most scorpions do not posses a threat to human life. Unless the people are allergic, they will have no adverse reaction after the sting of the scorpions. Even without any medication, you will be able to deal with the local pain, except the case which happened with a women in the Caribbean area, who died after being bitten by a scorpion which was later concluded was due to a heart attack. The scientist drew the attention to the fact that due to the geographical position of the scorpions, Costa Rica has species of both the most lethal scorpion genus present in the South and most lethal scorpion present in the North of the American component, which means that both the deadliest ones are present in their country but are not lethal to human beings. The venom of the scorpion is composed of mucosa, enzymes, water, biogenic amines, free amino acids, low molecular weight peptides, neurotoxins, and proteins that have the maximum molecular activities. The neurotoxins are highly selective ligands for voltage-gated potassium, sodium, calcium ion channels, and chloride. Therefore, they contain compounds that are used for the development of novel drugs, i.e., drugs for cancer treatment, cardiovascular diseases, neurological disorders, and analgesics.
Scorpions use their venom to catch their prey and defend against their predators. The venom of most scorpions is only dangerous for the small animals and insects on which they feed on. To be precise, only few scorpions are lethal to humans. The Arizona bark scorpion and Fat-tailed scorpion (Androctonus australis) are two of the deadliest scorpions in the U.S. Their poison is enough to kill a grown-up easily. There have been various death reports in the parts of Southwest Asia which were brought about by its sting and The Brazilian yellow scorpion has been known for the death of children. At last, The Death Stalker possesses venom which can cause serious harm to human beings but is not potent as the ones which are above mentioned. This scorpion is found in arid climates and desserts. The good news for visitors is that so far, there are no such reports on the Costa Rican scorpions. Two dangerous species that are present in Costa Rica are safely contained and the country is already prepared for the unexpected events. Several data indicates that there have been no such tragic incidents so far. If you are planning to visit Costa Rica, you don’t have to worry because there are enough safety measures taken in the local lodges, and even if something happens there are medications provided so that there will be caused to the people.
Myths and Facts about Scorpion Stings
Some say that the baby scorpions are more deadly as is the case with snakes but the fact is that the age of the scorpions cannot state that the venom of the small scorpions is more deadly than the adult ones. Scorpions contain a layer in their exoskeleton named the hyaline layer which reflects certain wavelengths of the ultraviolet (UV) light spectrum and therefore, they glow at night and it is said that this might help them either to see their surroundings or to attract the insects for its prey. The symptoms get cleared within the first six hours for most of the patients. In very rare cases, the symptoms last up to 48 to 72 hours. The patients often feel burning pain when they get stung by the scorpion. The venom does not travel in the bloodstream so it does not affect the brain, lungs, or heart. The kids have severe muscle cramps and spasms. In Costa Rica, the scorpions are less dangerous and they are harmful to insects and animals as stated earlier.
Tips to prevent the Scorpions
The various tips to protect yourself from the scorpions include: Get rid of the standing water, seal crevices and cracks if there are any and especially around the windows and doors, always check the dark places like closets, and cabinets, clear the woodpiles around your home and get rid of the crickets by switching off the outdoor lights at night because crickets are one of the insects on which scorpions feed. Sprinkle the cinnamon powder around the house as it is a natural repellant for scorpions. Shake out the shoes and bedclothes if you’re living in scorpion-prone areas because it is commonplace for the scorpions to hide.
Now, we have reached the end of this blog. Hope it has helped you to know about Costa Rica and the scorpions living there. This blog has also provided you with the facts and myths of the scorpions and the prevention which should be taken in order to protect yourself from the scorpions.