AHWATUKEE, AZ - They are small but cause a great amount of fear in Valley homes: scorpions.
Scorpions only need the smallest crack in an exterior wall to gain access to your home, according to exterminators. The opening needs to be about the width of a credit card for the pest to crawl inside the house.
"I hate scorpions," said Misty Callum of Gilbert.
Callum's 12-year-old son, Dylan, was stung in early March and paramedics had to rush the boy to the emergency room in an ambulance. "His eyeballs were twitching back and forth," she told ABC15. "He looked horrible."
"I remember bits and pieces of being delusional," said Dylan.
Dylan recovered after being treated with the anti-venom, which typically costs patients several thousand dollars. If not treated, though extremely rare, scorpion stings can be deadly to the very young and very old.
Callum regularly found scorpions inside her house, but after Dylan's extreme reaction to the sting, she decided to enhance her family's scorpion security by calling Scorpion Tech Termite and Pest Control, Inc.
"Taking away any place [scorpions] can hide during the day, that's helpful," said Andrew Witcher, president of Scorpion Tech.
Witcher said he often finds the pests underneath rugs, clothes and towels. "Unfortunately, they like to go where we don't want them, in people's homes."
His advice is to remove the areas in which they are most likely to hide.
For example, put potted plants on a stand to keep them off the ground.
He also suggests sealing your home and having a pest control company use the right chemicals to treat the property.
Since calling Scorpion Tech, Callum said she has not found a single scorpion inside her home.
Witcher buys several of his company's tools from the website Scorpion Hunter .
According the Banner Good Samaritan Poison & Drug Information Center, the top three cities with the most scorpion stings per capita as calculated by ABC15 are Carefree, Tolleson and Litchfield Park.
"You're almost never going to find scorpions in the grass," said Dean Andrews of Ahwatukee.
Andrews is not a professional exterminator, but developed a hatred of scorpions after finding several on his property and started hunting them as a night job.
"If I'm not careful," Andrews said while focusing his black-light on a scorpion. "I will scare it into the house."
Andrews identifies himself as The Scorpion Equalizer who promises to find scorpions and kill them.
"The problem is if you move it outside," he said. "The same scorpion that you humanely moved to your yard may be the same scorpion that gets back inside a week later, pregnant."
A spokesperson for the Banner Good Samaritan Poison & Drug Information Center said that in 2012, there were 9,776 scorpion stings reported.
Fountain Hills/Fort McDowell=121