Early this morning, a Subte worker found a black scorpion no bigger than 3cm on the platform of Bulnes on Línea D. It’s reported that the same species of scorpion was also found in a cupboard at the 9 de Julio station.
This news perhaps comes as no surprise given the environment of Subte tunnels is certainly well suited as a habitat; dark and warm with plenty of cockroaches on which to feed. One Subte worker is also reportedly stung every six months.
Although the species of scorpion found on these occasions is not dangerous, this news has nonetheless certainly raised alarm given recent incidents in Argentina where young children have either been killed by a scorpion sting, or spent a substantial amount of time in intensive care.
For the meantime, netting has been placed over drains throughout multiple stations in order to prevent any kind of infestation in the tunnels.
So, what should you do if you see a scorpion?
Most organisations like the Ministry of Health don’t explicitly offer advice on actively removing scorpions; rather they suggest that you take measures to prevent scorpions from taking nest. Identifying the species of the scorpion and seeking medical help immediately in the case of being stung is also about all we have to work with.
However, if you are finding yourself staying awake at night thinking of scorpions taking over your apartment there could be a couple of ways you can spot them.
According to scientists, and the internet, scorpions’ exoskeletons glow light blue when placed under UV light from a blacklight. So in theory, if you can get your hands on a blacklight or place a black light bulb from a hardware store in a flashlight, then you have a scorpion-spotting device and can rest easy knowing that you’re in the clear.
However if you do find a scorpion, the most important thing to do is to identify the species as to assess how dangerous the venom is. Specialists recommend taking a picture, so that should anyone be stung, the appropriate medical aid can be applied as quickly as possible.
Although it might be tempting to save the day by trying to eliminate the scorpion, they are notoriously difficult to kill given their hard exoskeleton and it’s not worth the risk of being stung. Remember that young children, the elderly and those with known heart problems are most at risk of a serious and possibly lethal reaction to the venom.