What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this ?
Location: Garfield Heights Ohio
March 9, 2013 11:58 pm
This is a bug found in Garfield Heights Ohio. This could be a scorpion but it is doubtful because it is in Ohio in the month of March.
Signature: Eman



Dear Eman,
The quality of your photo is less than ideal, but this does appear to resemble a Scorpion.  BugGuide has no reports of Scorpions north of Tennessee, so we cannot explain the location nor the timing of this sighting.  Can you please provide additional photos and details regarding the location of the sighting.  Did it occur in a pet store or other area where Scorpions might have been introduced?

Update:  We are still trying to learn more about this mystery.  We have been attempting to learn if there are any substantiated reports of scorpions in Ohio, and we discovered some information on the questionable WikiAnswers site

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Garfield Heights, Ohio

30 Responses to Scorpion? found in Ohio?? in March????

  1. Ju says:

    That’s definitely a scorpion! 🙂

  2. philostopher says:

    Is it possible that it’s a somewhat mangled version of one of these? The males do have the “kit” like a scorpion, though it’s used for an entirely different purpose, and they are found in Ohio:


    Love the site — I’ve visited regularly since we accidentally (in a panic) fatally damaged a cicada-killer wasp and I found an image on your site. I hate when that happens — usually we don’t do that.

    • bugman says:

      Thanks for the suggestion, but we are pretty certain this is a real scorpion.

      • philostopher says:

        Actually, much to my surprise, there is a “northern scorpion” —

        seen as far north as southern Canada. It looks a bit like that one, as well. I’ve lived in Ohio most of my life, with a brief detour out of the area in my twenties (part of which was spent in New Mexico, where there were several varieties of both scorpions and vinegaroons) but wasn’t aware there were any that lived in areas that were not legitimately subtropical. Live and learn!

  3. Gulmira says:

    Today I kill scorpion, I was very surprised, from where in OH?

  4. rfg says:

    I can’t believe that! I always wanted a scorpion, and wished they were more common in Ohio :L

  5. krissy says:

    found a scorpion in my mailbox. Wooster oh 06/25/2013

  6. jen says:

    i think i encountered a scorpion in my driveway this morning? medina, oh 6/27/13

  7. Michael Van Horn says:

    Yes, that is indeed a scorpion. I had them in my last two houses in rural Central Texas. There is one species, the southern devil scorpion, that is native to Kentucky. The one in the pic may have been a migrant that was unintentionally brought up from KY by someone moving or through commercial trucking or shipping. They are generally not the kind of scorpions that you find at a pet store. Here is some info on the southern devil scorpion: (http://www.uky.edu/Ag/CritterFiles/casefile/relatives/scorpions/scorpion.htm#common)
    The northern scorpion, mentioned earlier, is found in the Pacific Northwest.

  8. Jason says:

    Scorpions like any other invasive species can be let loose or escape Into the wild where it has the potential to multiply and thrive . I think we are missing the big picture here and that’s irresponsible pet owners .!! Ignorant persons don’t think about the dangers to people or harm it has on our environment !
    Never seen a scorpion in ohio but then again I’ve never seen one in arizonian when I lived there either!

  9. just me says:

    I found in Perry Ohio two black scorpions in my house, one grayling on tube and one under stove in kitchen alive. Scared me found I had a bug spray for all types od bugs for them to. Hope I do not find another one.

  10. Annette says:

    Perry Ohio found two black scorpions one in tub another in kitchen was moping under stove and it came out.. Hope I do not find more ever scary.

  11. Neil Klima says:

    i did a little internet digging and found that there is a species that can be found in southern ohio, and it looks a lot like the one in the photo honestly. Vaejovis Carolinianus is the scientific name. Painful sting, but not known to be dangerous. Surprised to see someone found one that close to home however, ill be looking around cleveland for one of these bad boys now xD

  12. Jerry Benz says:

    I kind of stumbled onto this page by accident but just had to leave my experience. I’m 52 years old and spent the first 15 years of my life in the city of Forest Park, Ohio, a municipality in the northwestern Cincinnati area. In September of 1972 (2nd grade) we were on recess at Forest View Elementary, playing in the creek behind the school looking for crawdads, when my friend said, “I caught a scorpion”, which made us all laugh at him, as though he were an idiot. I walked over and looked into his styrofoam cup at what was indeed a small scorpion. It was a very young Vaejovis Carolinianus, obviously born that summer. We took it inside to show the teacher, who freaked out and took it to the Principal, who put it in a paper lunch bag and took it to the janitor to throw in the incinerator. Nice work academia!!!

  13. Woody says:

    My wife was just stung by a scorpion today, in Elyria Ohio

  14. David says:

    I have encountered two wild scorpions, both in Wakeman OH. One was the size of an full grown emperor scorpion, however, it had a similar complexion to the one posted above.

    about seven years later two houses down from that it had just rained in mid may and I saw another “full size” one just chilling on the gravel walk up path. it was cooler, closer to 61 degrees out.

    they’re out there.

  15. Betheny Spry says:

    I lived in Shadyside Ohio about 9 years ago and I was stung by a scorpion like insect. I have lived in Ohio my entire life and have never seen anything like it before or since and don’t want to!!! It hurt so bad that I screamed and cried in pain and I have a good pain tolerance. I got stung on the upper back side of my thigh and it made every muscle in my leg lock up.. It was the worst sting I have ever experienced!!! I would really like to know what it was. It had a scorpion like tail and it was almost Beatle like with pinchers in the face of it, I wish I had gotten a picture of it!! I would love to know if anybody else has gotten stung by something similar in Ohio??? I really can’t see much towards the head of the insect in this picture but the tail defiantly looks the same as the insect that stung me.

  16. John Louthan says:

    This small yellow scorpion is common to Kentucky. I used to catch them all the time when my mother and I would visit. I do not have the technical name for it however the sting is generally not dangerous. However my mother’s boyfriend was hit by one on the big toe. He had an allergic reaction that caused him to go crippled on the left side of his body for over a month. They do very well in cold climates. Rarely get over 2 inches long from the tip of their head to the tip of their tail. And apparently like coyotes they have found their way to Ohio.

  17. John Louthan says:

    This is a small scorpion found all over in Kentucky. They generally are not deadly and have a sting that is little more than a bee sting. However I do not have the scientific name for it. It’s not the southern devil scorpion which is much larger. The Scorpion rarely gets over 2 inches long from the tip of its head to the tip of its tail. I used to catch them all the time as a child in Southern Kentucky “Edmonton” and yes they hibernate through the winters there. I don’t believe it would be far-fetched for them to make it to Ohio.

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