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yea


May 26, 2005, 6:10 AM

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Alacran

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Are there alacrans in the Patzcuaro area?



Miguel Palomares


May 26, 2005, 6:15 AM

Post #2 of 25 (13136 views)

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Re: [yea] Alacran

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Iīve lived in Patzcuaro for years. I have no idea what an alacran is. Illuminate me. We do, however, have tortillas and sopa tarasca, out the kazoo.

I imagine Jennifer Rose knows what an alacran is.
From Tzurumutaro, Michoacan, "The Village of the Darned."
_______________________________________

The nuts and bolts of moving to Mexico:
http://michaeldickson.blogspot.com/
The dark side of living in Mexico:
http://mexicopeeks.blogspot.com/
Scintillating life in a Mexican pueblo:
http://tzurumutaro.blogspot.com/
http://tzurumutaro2.blogspot.com/


Bear

May 26, 2005, 6:23 AM

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Re: [palomares] Alacran

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Scorpion


jennifer rose

May 26, 2005, 6:48 AM

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Re: [yea] Alacran

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In yesterday's newspaper was an article about alacranes. There are 17 varieties in Michoacan. 24 persons are bit each day by one of these scorpions. The bite's only rarely deadly, but it hurts like mad. Vomiting, blurred vision, convulsions, and swelling are just some of the symptons. The remedy is to clean the affected area, apply a cold compress, and seek medical attention. I've heard about applying raw garlic to the affected area.

I've been bit, and it did hurt. For about a day, it felt like a massive hangover. The first time or so you spy a scorpion, there is a sense of fear, but after living here for a while, you become somewhat more casual. Oh yeah, it's just a scorpion. I'll pluck one up with a tissue or a stick now and not give it a second thought.


Miguel Palomares


May 26, 2005, 7:21 AM

Post #5 of 25 (13123 views)

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Re: [yea] Alacran

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Mi esposa mexicana just told me, also, what an alacran is. I have lived in Patzcuaro five years, and I have never laid eyes on a scorpion of any sort. Mi esposa also says they normally inhabit other types of climate. Drier, hotter, mayhaps.

I think the Patzcuaro polar bears have eaten them all.
From Tzurumutaro, Michoacan, "The Village of the Darned."
_______________________________________

The nuts and bolts of moving to Mexico:
http://michaeldickson.blogspot.com/
The dark side of living in Mexico:
http://mexicopeeks.blogspot.com/
Scintillating life in a Mexican pueblo:
http://tzurumutaro.blogspot.com/
http://tzurumutaro2.blogspot.com/


TigerTonio


May 26, 2005, 7:50 AM

Post #6 of 25 (13118 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] Alacran

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Jennifer: Oh yeah, it's just a scorpion. I'll pluck one up with a tissue or a stick now and not give it a second thought.


LOL! Just a scorpion?? You are one tough lady. Does Raid work on those things? <wink>


gpk

May 26, 2005, 8:23 AM

Post #7 of 25 (13110 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] Alacran

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The degree of toxicity of the venom varies a great deal--and by region. I think I have read that the most poisonous alacranes are found in Guanajuato and Jalisco states--where quite a few people (mostly the very old and very young) die each year. So, depending on where you live, you may NOT want to pick up an alacran so casually. In Leon--the alacran capital of Guanajuato--it is advised that you head immediately to the Cruz Roja if you get stung--they are the only reliable source of the anti-venom.


Marta R

May 26, 2005, 11:48 AM

Post #8 of 25 (13086 views)

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Re: [gpk] Alacran

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Some fascinating research is currently in progress on the uses of scorpion venom (more particularly, a sustance called "chlorotoxin" derived from the venom) as an immunosuppressant and to treat glioma, a nasty kind of brain tumor. They're also looking at the substance for use in the treatment of lupus, MS, rheumatoid arthritis, and other immune system disorders.

So next time you're tempted to squash one of our nasty little friends, take a moment to thank it. Then stomp.

Marta


MARIA CUERVA

May 26, 2005, 12:44 PM

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Re: [chrisnmarta] Alacran

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Siembra albacar por los alacranes.


Marta R

May 26, 2005, 1:06 PM

Post #10 of 25 (13070 views)

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Re: [cuerva] Alacran

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Ayuda me, cuerva, por favor. ŅQue quiere decir ďalcabarĒ in ingles?

Marta


Papirex


May 26, 2005, 1:09 PM

Post #11 of 25 (13069 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] Alacran

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My primary scorpion eradicator is a flyswatter, if they are on a wall, or somewhere where stomping is not an easy option. Only after they have been mushed (mushified?), do I pick them up with a paper napkin, or towel in the hope that it will provide some protection in case one of them still has enough life left in it to make one last strike with its tail. I tried Raid, but it seems to just make them move a lot, Iíve never seen one die from Raid yet. Maybe I never waited long enough.

That reminds me, anyone that is moving to Mexico from The US, be sure to bring 3 or 4 American sized flyswatters. All the ones we have found that are made in Mexico have a handle that is about 6 inches shorter than we are used to up north. They really screw up my depth perception, after a lifetime of using the ones with longer handles. We had a friend bring us 4 American swatters a few years ago. My wife hates the Mexican sized swatters too.

We used to have an organic alacran detector. He was a Cocker Spaniel named Taku. Maybe he smelled them or something, but he found them all the time. He would give a very distinct high-pitched bark whenever he saw one. When we would run over to him, he would be standing over it, with his front legs spread apart giving the alacran hell in his last moments.

Talk about gutsy (or stupid), one time when Taku was still a young pup, I heard his alacran bark, he was outside on the terraza. I ran downstairs to kill it, as I passed a window, I saw Taku pick it up in his mouth, he promptly dropped it. As I ran past another window in the living room, I looked out and saw him pick it up and drop it again.

As I ran though the kitchen to the door leading out to the terraza, I was wondering if there was any veterinarian that could save a dog that had been stung inside his mouth by an alacran. Fortunately, Taku had not tried to pick it up again. He was in his usual position, standing over the alacran, giving it dog hell. The alacran was small, maybe ĺ of an inch long, maybe it couldnít move its tail for a strike when it was in Takuís mouth. I credit dumb luck.

Alacrans are easy to kill, I have learned to be careful in the garden, and I never reach in to a dark place without shining a flashlight in to see if there is one in that place. We found one in a closet once, and we have some shelves on the back patio that we use for overflow pantry storage for canned goods. We are always particularly careful when getting anything off of one of the shelves out there, because they are outside.

Alacrans are not the only dangerous bug in Mexico. You must be particularly careful around policemen. For some mysterious reason it is illegal to hit one with a flyswatter.

Rex




"The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved" - Victor Hugo

(This post was edited by RexC on May 26, 2005, 1:31 PM)


esperanza

May 26, 2005, 4:04 PM

Post #12 of 25 (13045 views)

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Re: [chrisnmarta] Alacran

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It's albahacar. Basil!

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









gpk

May 26, 2005, 4:42 PM

Post #13 of 25 (13039 views)

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Re: [RexC] Alacran

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Alacran mothers carry their almost invisibly tiny babies on their back--dozens at a time. Swatting them can scatter and allow the babies to survive. They also can run VERY fast--like a cockroach.


TigerTonio


May 26, 2005, 4:50 PM

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Re: [gpk] Alacran

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Lovely, just lovely. That sounds like a plot for another Alien sequel.

Well, better to learn now from this forum than experience it firsthand later..!

Tony


Gwynne


May 26, 2005, 6:26 PM

Post #15 of 25 (13016 views)

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Re: [RexC] Alacran

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Which leads me to ask.......
What happens when a dog bites a scorpion which stings the dog?
We have a Jack Russell who thinks cockroaches qualify as "small game". He'd really be interested in these things!
GL


juditha16


May 26, 2005, 7:44 PM

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Re: [donlott] Alacran

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Talk about scorpions reminds me of the time we had 26 inches of rain in 24 hours in Key West (about 20 years ago.) The water was beginning to come in under the front door. That was when I discovered the glass fish bowl full of scorpions outside the door...ready to wash in the door. It turns out my dear young son was raising them! We poured Clorox bleach into the fish bowl to kill them, but they wouldn't die. Very scary.
Coming from Florida, we are pretty used to scorpions, although we never seem to get them in the house. But they still freak me out as much as ever. One learns to always look inside one's shoes before putting them on.
Judith


Papirex


May 26, 2005, 9:26 PM

Post #17 of 25 (12991 views)

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Re: [gpk] Alacran

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Gary, I have seen alacrans with what appeared to be eggs on their backs, maybe they were young alacrans though. There were so many of them they were quite discernable. As for them being scattered when mom is swatted, the flyswatters I use are made of typical metal window screen material. The possibility exists, but I donít think it will happen, there is no rush of air to do the scattering. Thanks for the caution though, I will be a little more observant in the future when I swat one. It has worked so well for me for the last few years Iím going to continue doing it that way I think.

All the alacrans I have had experience with here in Mexico, and the scorpions I dealt with in California were not fast moving, but seem to be very slow when they are trying to escape. Only one ever got away from me. That was because three young sobrinos were trying to help me, and got in the way. The alacran slipped between the wooden frame of a window, and the masonry wall. That made me nervous for a few weeks. The window was next to my recliner chair. Every time I sat in it for a while, I would look over at the wall a foot away from me to see if he was coming back with vengeance in mind.

Donlott, 3 or 4 years ago someone posted on the Ajijic forum that a mans dog had been stung on the nose by an alacran when they were walking by the lake, and the dog died. I donít remember any more than that. All of our old posts went bye-bye when the forum format was changed in 2002, so there is no way to look that post up to read it now.

Maybe someone has some accurate info on dogs being stung by alacrans. I worry about our little guys a bit too. Whatever the ability that our dog Taku had to detect them was, the dogs we have now donít have it. I killed one that was walking within 6 inches of the nose of our male dog, Tuffy, while he was sleeping on the floor. He didnít twitch, or wake up until he heard the fly swatter.

Juditha16, I got in the habit of always looking in my shoes before putting them on when I was in basic Air Force Training in Texas in 1950 because of scorpions in the barracks. That habit came right back when we moved to Mexico, and I saw the first alacran in the house. Itís probably not necessary, but I canít put a shoe on until I have looked in it now.

Rex


"The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved" - Victor Hugo


wyhaines

May 27, 2005, 5:32 AM

Post #18 of 25 (12978 views)

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Re: [RexC] Alacran

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Is benadryl at all helpful in the case of a scorpion sting?

I don't know if the envenomation responses are at all similar, but a couple years ago we had a dog bitten in the face by a rattlesnake. The dog weighs about 50 lbs, and at that size, the primary veterinary concerns were with swelling settling into the throat area and causing respiratory distress. We were over an hour's drive from the nearest vet when it happened, so the immediate first aid was to give her some benadryl to help combat swelling from histamine reactions.


Kirk Haines


tonyburton / Moderator


May 27, 2005, 7:09 AM

Post #19 of 25 (12970 views)

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Re: [yea] Alacran

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An earlier thread on the topic of scorpions has some interesting links:
http://www.mexconnected.com/...ring=scorpion;#26689


Papirex


May 27, 2005, 8:21 AM

Post #20 of 25 (12953 views)

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Re: [wyhaines] Alacran

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Kirk, several posters have reported that benadryl is a good first aid treatment for scorpion stings. Fortunately, no one in our immediate family has ever been stung by one, so I have no first hand experience using it.

Rex
"The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved" - Victor Hugo


Marta R

May 27, 2005, 9:34 AM

Post #21 of 25 (12939 views)

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Re: [donlott] Alacran

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Don, I Googled "scorpion sting" and "pet" and found this information from PetPlace.com:
Although not all scorpions are considered deadly venomous (except to insects, their main source of food), you shouldnít take a scorpion sting lightly. The venom of a scorpion contains digestive enzymes, which can cause extreme pain. The venom of one particular scorpion, Centruroides exilicauda, contains digestive enzymes as well as venom toxic to the nervous system. This species of scorpion is usually found in the southwestern United States. Fortunately, stings by this scorpion are rare.
So I guess the first thing to do, is to find out what particular flavor of scorpion inhabits your area.

There's more good information from the University of California: Scorpions Management Guidelines.

Answer.com says that scorpion bites are rarely fatal except for a genus from the Sahara Desert (I suppose we don't have to worry about that one too much) and:
several species of the genus Centruroides, found in Mexico, which have been responsible for the deaths of a number of persons, mostly children. The scorpion neurotoxin causes convulsions; death results from respiratory or cardiac failure.
Back to PetPlace.com. They say that the effect of a sting varies with the size of your pet, and that if you think your pet has been stung, get it to a vet instanter. if you suspect that your pet was stung, look for:

What to Watch For

  • Drooling
  • Tearing from the eyes (the animal looks like she is crying)
  • Inappropriate urination and defecation
  • Dilated pupils
  • Muscle tremors
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Collapse


  • The site says that there's no home care for the venomous scorpion bites, and that antidotes aren't recommended, but that supportive care is recommended and can do the trick.

    I may be a cock-eyed optimist, but I think the comments about the rareness of Centruroides are well taken. If I thought that pets and scorpions were an issue, I'd make an appointment with a local vet, well before hand, and ask him or her about the local scorpions, their toxicity, emergency care if necessary, and so forth.

    (Some of the links mention "complex courtship rituals" which is fascinating.)

    Lord, but I do love the Internet.

    Marta


    Gwynne


    May 27, 2005, 9:47 AM

    Post #22 of 25 (12938 views)

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    Re: [chrisnmarta] Alacran

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    Marta,
    Thanks so much for the info. I think we'll take your advice and go one better: On our next exploratory trip in August, we'll talk to a few vets and see what precautions need to be taken. Jack Russells will take on anything and dispatch it before you can inhale. He's smart - I'm sure it would only take one experience - but I need to make sure he survives the experience. I'll copy all the info you sent. Thanks again.
    Don


    manda405


    May 27, 2005, 7:53 PM

    Post #23 of 25 (12910 views)

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    Re: [wyhaines] Alacran

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    "Is benadryl at all helpful in the case of a scorpion sting?"

    I was stung by a scorpion about 1 1\2 inches long on my foot and my father-in-law rubbed it with turtle oil to draw out the poison. My mom told me I had to come home right away after that. She said I could live in a place where the bugs there can kill you. I just laughed and
    All three of the dogs we have on the farm have been stung by a scorpion at one time or another. One was stung in the mouth and we fed him mushed up cooked garlic mixed with a little bit of milk to cut the poison in the blood. He was just fine. The older dog got stung just above the eye and unfortunatly he went blind in that eye a few days later.


    What happens down in Mexico...Stays in Mexico.


    MARIA CUERVA

    May 28, 2005, 8:09 AM

    Post #24 of 25 (12892 views)

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    Re: [manda405] Alacran

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    My friend-a man of 27 yrs at the time I believe-was stung by an alacran. I prepared blood purifiers to treat him. He suffered chills, fever, and extreme pain in his bones for 2 weeks. He was bitten on the toe. Next my 12 yr old daughter was bitten. I was not there at the time and so she was taken to the hospital for the antialacran serum. She suffered no symptoms but had a large white spot on her hand where she was bitten for years. After that my 6 yr old daughter was bitten. By that time I knew what didn't work. So I took a knife, cut into her finger where she was bitten and sucked out the poison. Just like you would a snake bite. An hour later she was playing with her friends in the ocean. No symptoms, no signs , no evidence of anything having happened to her.


    Bubba

    May 30, 2005, 3:42 AM

    Post #25 of 25 (12848 views)

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    Re: [wyhaines] Alacran

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    Yes any anti histamine drug will work. The danger from the bite is the an allergic reaction and the swelling of soft tissues which may interfere with your breathing. Some people have no reaction to the bite. My husband was stung twice, the first time we rushed to the pharmacy and he got some anti histamine pills, the second time he took some benedryl after a while just in case but after the first pain passed, he had no symptoms.
    Our dog on the other hand, had problems getting up and he seemed to loose control of his muscles, had very dilated pupils and was drooling more than usual. After a shot of antihistamine he was ok in a couple of hours.
     
     
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