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There are no scorpions of serious medical significance in Harare. Two species are found, Uroplectes flavoviridus the Yellow-Green Lesser Thick-Tailed scorpion and Afrolychas burdoi the Speckled Pygmy Scorpion. They are both very small scorpions - max 5cm in length, which includes their tail length. They sometimes find their way inside your home, searching for dry shelter or food during the wet months of the year. They can be easily spotted using an ultra-violet light, which they reflect spectacularly. The sting of both species is painful and may take a few days to disappear completely. If you are stung, apply a hot brown vinegar compress to the sting site repeatedly, this will help with pain relief. Do not take anti-histamines or powerful opiate based painkillers as these can exacerbate the situation. Paracetamol can be used for pain relief instead. In other areas where larger and more dangerous species occur i.e. Parabuthus species and Hottentotta species, medical help should be sought immediately after a sting, especially if children are stung - it is a life threatening situation and anti-venom will likely be required.

What can be done to prevent scorpions entering the home? Well, closing doors at night when they are active can help. Minimising suitable habitat such as rock piles around the home may also help. 

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