Pennsylvania man stung by scorpion that hitched a ride from the Virgin Islands

Scorpion (Photo Credit: Shantanu Kuveskar)

WARMINSTER, Pa. (UPI) — A pair of Pennsylvania exterminators said they responded to an unusual call from a resident stung by a scorpion that stowed away from the Caribbean.

Hollie and Buddy Mullen of A-1 Exterminators said they were called to a home in Warminster Township in Bucks County after a 22-year-old resident was stung by a scorpion that apparently stowed away in his backpack when he returned from a trip to St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands. 

“He reached into his computer backpack,” Buddy Mullen told WPVI-TV, “reached in to get his computer, and a scorpion bit him.” 

The scorpion disappeared into the man’s bedroom, where the exterminators conducted their search.

“[We] went up to his bedroom, started pulling everything apart,” Mullen said. “And when we flipped his sheets, it actually fell on the ground… and we captured it.”

The man was treated for a minor injury at Abington Memorial Hospital and released.

“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.”

Mullen said the call was unique.

“We’ve done alligators, tortoises, emus, owls, 13-foot snakes,” Mullen said. “We’ve done everything.”

The incident wasn’t the first sting from a stowaway scorpion in Pennsylvania. A worker at a Philadelphia grocery store was treated in 2014 after being stung by a scorpion found hiding in a shipment of bananas from Honduras.