A SCOTS holidaymaker was stung by a scorpion she accidentally brought home from holiday in Mexico.
Colin and Janette Birrell from Methil,Fife, discovered the poisonous hitchhiker on Sunday when it attacked as they unpacked their luggage.
Janette put her hand in a suitcase and felt a sharp sting.
When they investigated, they found the poisonous creature lurking inside – and caught it in a Tupperware box.
The couple, who had been on holiday celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary, were “absolutely terrified” that Jane might need life-saving treatment.
Janette said: “It felt like a bee or a wasp sting. When we were by the pool inMexicoa little boy was stung by a wasp so I thought that one had managed to get inside my suitcase.
“I shouted to Colin that something had bitten me from inside his suitcase.
“He came through and had a look and hiding next to the zip was a scorpion.
“It was about three inches long and came out and started running around the inside of the suitcase.”
Husband Colin’s immediate reaction involved shock and a lot of swearing but he managed to capture the creepy crawly in the plastic box before it attacked anyone else.
He said: “It was absolutely terrifying to see it running about like that.
“I was really shocked to see it in there. It must have been inside for at least 24 hours.”
They then went next door to visit former school nurse Eileen McGarrity who took Colin and Janette to the Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy.
Staff there had to telephone a tropical disease unit inLondonto get more information on how to treat the sting as they had never dealt with an incident of this kind before.
It emerged that the scorpion’s venom was not deadly to humans.
After being kept in overnight Janette was allowed to return home on Monday morning.
Apart from pins and needles in her thumb where the scorpion struck Janette has not suffered any lasting damage.
She added: “I worked in the fruit shop onLeven High Streetfor ten years and never had anything like this.”
The SSPCA said they were not able to identify the species of scorpion even with the help of Edinburgh Butterfly and Insect World.
The animal welfare charity also said the scorpion had been “humanely destroyed”.
Scottish SPCA Chief Superintendent Mike Flynn said: “Staff at theRoyalVictoriaHospitalin Kirkcaldy contacted us to collect a scorpion which had been brought in by a patient, believed to have been stung.
“We removed the scorpion and sought advice from Edinburgh Butterfly and Insect World and a local vet who specialises in exotics but we were unable to identify which species of scorpion this was.
“As we believed this scorpion had already stung somebody, there was therefore a safety issue and we had to make the decision to humanely destroy this creature.”
In February this year a similar incident happened when fearless Asda employee Petra Merriman caught a Colombian banana spider – regarded by the Guiness Book of Records as being the most venomous in the world.
The fearsome arachnid was uncovered in a bunch of bananas in the Chesser store inEdinburghbutPetrasaid she calmly scooped the beastie up in a pot while her male colleagues “were running round like headless chickens.”