Scorpions Are Scarier Than Spiders

scorpion being creepy on a piece of wood

Scorpions Vs Spiders

American Entomologist published the results of a UC Riverside-lead study into fears and phobias about scorpions vs spiders. It has been surprising to psychologists that people are so terrified of spiders because very few spiders are capable of causing fatal harm. Arachnologists have long thought that scorpions were the more logical recipient of the monster-like status than the spider. With this mindset, set out to study the fear of spiders and scorpions among 858 undergraduate students at five American universities to determine the level of scorpion fear versus spider fear. The universities were located in Wisconsin, Tennessee, Georgia, California and Tucson, Arizona.

The pre-study expectations were:

  • Women would be more afraid of the arachnids than men.
  • Spider fear would be higher than scorpion fear.
  • Arizona students would have higher scorpion fear than Wisconsin students (no scorpions in Wisconsin).

The Results Are In

The study confirmed that women were indeed more afraid of arachnids than men. 35% of Tucson’s male students admitted to a fear of scorpions compared to the 60% average fear scores for women.

But the most surprising results were that the scorpion fear scores were significantly higher than spider fear scores. Spiders scored at 45% while scorpions scored at 60% among women in Tucson. Another surprising result was scorpion-free Wisconsin students were more afraid of scorpions than Tucson students. One plausible explanation...  Are high scorpion fear scores in Wisconsin due to fear of the unfamiliar or the unexpected?

“I Had A Full-Fledged Panic Attack”

A recent news article in People tells of a woman on a four-hour flight from Toronto to Calgary, Canada who was stung by a scorpion in mid-flight. She felt a strange sensation in her lower back but ignored the feeling because she thought it was the air conditioning blow on her.

As the plane was beginning its descent, she felt a piercing pain in. She was virtually stuck in her seat because she couldn’t take her seatbelt off during the landing. As soon as the plane landed, she looked at her seat and found a scorpion in the fold toward the back of the chair.

No wonder she had a full-fledged panic attack. An Air Transat spokesperson stated, “Although this is an extremely rare situation, it can unfortunately occur.”

It turns out that scorpions on planes are a relatively regular occurrence. A United flight was delayed in May 2017 after a scorpion was found in a passenger’s clothing. A scorpion fell on a passenger’s head in April 2017. In February 2019, a scorpion crawled out of an overhead bin on a Lion Air flight.

It turns out that scorpions can survive in a variety of environments from deserts to plane cabins with little food or oxygen.

What To Do If Bit

With warm weather coming, Tucsonans will be looking for a place to cool off – and so will scorpions. Tucson #1 pest is the scorpion, mainly the Bark Scorpion. It has the worst sting.

People experience sharp pain with numbness, tingling, and possible vomiting when stung. If you are stung by a scorpion, first check to make sure you aren't allergic to the venom. If not, wash the area of the sting with soap and hot water followed by a cold compress.

These scorpions are hard to notice because their light brown color makes them blend into the Arizona environment. However, they do glow with a black light.


If you want to know if there are scorpions lurking in your home, Conquistador Pest & Termite offers free scorpion inspections in Tucson, AZ. Consider including a scorpion control program with our Conquer All Program

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