Scorpion Terror

by Greg on August 6, 2009

scorpionIf I had a Top Ten list of things I hate in this world, bugs would hold the first nine slots. The tenth is the threat of global thermonuclear war.

I’ll fully admit to screaming like a schoolgirl if I’m startled by a creepy crawly nasty thing scurrying out in front of me. No shame.

If you’ve read my “Meet Me” page then you know I live by a “Shriek. Stomp. Smear.” policy when it comes to anything with more legs than our cat.

When we lived in New York we were sheltered from the bugs that rule the south. Up there I think the most fearsome bugs we saw were fireflies. Cute, twilight dancing, rump-lit floaty bugs that welcomed the summer season.

Here in Texas? Fireflies either hide in fear or put duct tape over their butt lamps to avoid detection.

For those of us in the more rural areas, we have the pleasure of poisonous spiders, scorpions, biting centipedes, beetles that can carry small children, and flying cockroaches. As if crawling cockroaches weren’t bad enough, these things have sprouted wings.

In New York, we did have a severe Ladybug infestation in our foyer one summer, but people just point and snicker when we tell that story down here. Apparently, if you don’t lose a limb to an insect then you have no right sharing bug stories in Texas.

I knew they had scorpions in Texas when we decided to move here but I really didn’t know much about them. I figured they’d be secluded in the desert areas. But one night, our dog yelped and jumped sky high from a deep sleep.

Right where he had been laying sat a scorpion. In our bedroom. I can still see its spindly little nasty scorpion legs and its little nasty scorpion tail curled up ready to strike.

Assuming my dog was as good as dead, I ran to the kitchen and grabbed a mixing bowl. I leaped onto the bed like a high jumper and then trapped the killer bug while kneeling behind pillows.

Heather calmly stood and watched all the frantic action from about a foot away the entire time. No doubt enthralled by her gallant knight’s heroics.

My wife asked what we should do now that it was trapped and I felt the best option was to just move. Pack everything but the bowl and move.

Not knowing what kind of venomous creature I was dealing with, I Googled Texas scorpions. I was of the belief that scorpions could kill you but everything I read said that the sting from a common scorpion in Texas is akin to being stung by a bee.

I wasn’t buyin’ it. After all, what if I had captured some little known hybrid mega-species of scorpion that could put Rattlesnake venom to shame?

I decided to stomp on the thing until it was embedded in our foundation and then call the exterminator at the crack of dawn. Not wanting its stinger to penetrate my shoe or risk having it latch onto my jugular, I grabbed a broom and the thickest dictionary I could find.

I took position behind my wall of pillows with dictionary in hand and told Heather to flip the bowl up with the broom handle. I warned her that this beast may run for the hills once freed and to stand back. In a flash she flipped the bowl up and my eyes darted left and right ready to follow this thing when it sprinted.

But it just sat there. It was taunting me. Daring me. But I got the jump on it.

Literally.

I dropped the dictionary atop the creature and jumped up and down like it was a trampoline. The room shook, a lamp toppled, and Heather had to beg me to stop while bracing the photos on our wall. I’m pretty sure seismologists picked up some activity.

When it was over I gently pushed the dictionary aside with the broom handle and saw a paper-thin splayed out scorpion that was now three times wider than it was tall. This thing was dead.

I….was a hero.

I scooped the fallen monster into a Glad baggie and set it on the counter so that the exterminator could tell me if I captured some reclusive deadly class of scorpion.

The next morning, Heather noticed that something in the bag was moving. Did it come back to life? Is it the Scorpinator?

Worse.

There were five or six itty bitty scorpion spawns running around in the bag. This thing had freakin’ babies in the bag! It was ON. At 9:00:01 I called the exterminator and shared the scorpion terror we had just endured.

She calmly explained that it may have entered our home through the A/C vent. Considering the vent was right above our bed, I would have rather she told me that the scorpion had probably broken a window or shimmied a lock to gain entry. I immediately made a mental note to move all beds as far away from vents as possible.

I told her about the five or six babies in the bag and she replied with, “Oh, yeah, scorpions can carry 20-30 babies on their backs.”

My exact words were, “Then you need to get out here NOW because that means there are like 25 more of these things ready to avenge their mother’s death.”

The exterminator arrived that very morning and I said, “When you think you’ve added enough poison to kill every living insect within a one-mile radius I want you to do one more round.” I didn’t care if I had to outfit the entire family in HazMat suits, I wanted these bugs dead. Sadly, there are regulations preventing this.

Over time, more and more scorpions made an appearance in our home, and I’ve gradually become used to them. I don’t mean to imply that I tolerate their existence. I mean, it’s not like I lay down to cuddle with them, but at least I’m to the point where I can calmly walk to get a shoe before smacking them into fractured pieces.

With children in the house, especially a curious 15-month old, we have to be on the lookout. We have found these things on blankets, in our pantry, and scattered about the house. We know many people who have been stung, some in the shower even, but we’ve been fortunate thus far.

Still, their sightings are somewhat rare and I’m told that they are just seeking water due to how hot and dry it is down here. If I could speak scorpion I’d make them a deal. I’ll put a little water dish in the hallway and stop napalming the house if they’ll agree to stay out of our sheets, shoes, and pantry.

To me, this is a sweet deal. But until scorpions and humans can come together on some sort of arrangement, my size 15’s are ready to Squish, Smear, Repeat.

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Telling Dad…For a good reason – Mommy PR
August 13, 2009 at 3:36 am

{ 38 comments }

Cher August 5, 2009 at 8:28 pm

Ah man, I'd move! There's no way in hell I could learn to live with scorpions. Bad enough I have to watch for wolf spiders! Hey I have an idea. What eats scorpions for dinner? You should get one whatever it is and keep it as a pet?

Good luck with that!
.-= Cher´s last blog ..Petland lands in center of rabbit-drowning posted on Facebook =-.

Beth August 6, 2009 at 1:11 am

I am right there with you. I moved from MN to FL, and there are bugs so big here, that you can see their poop, which is clearly too big for me. None the less my husband runs and hides at the sight of big bugs….and he grew up in FL. I am stuck being the smasher. I can't wait to move…..
.-= Beth´s last blog ..About Me =-.

Cat @ 3 Kids and Us August 6, 2009 at 2:07 am

It's too early to laugh this hard, my coffee almost made a second appearance.

I don't know how you do it, I can barely stand the occasional spider we get but scorpions…oh hell no.

I think I like Sarah's (Ohana Mama) approach. She had one on her pantry wall, grabbed a kitchen knife and stabbed it straight through the scorpion and into the wall. Left it hanging there like a post it note until her husband came home.
.-= Cat @ 3 Kids and Us´s last blog ..Wordless Wednesday – Boys Love their Girls =-.

Brandy August 6, 2009 at 2:22 am

OOHHH GREG!! Despite the fact I laughed myself to tears when Heather told me this I have a SEVERE case of arachnophobia. TERRIFIED of those suckers to the point I break out in sweats. I don't care if those things are the size of a pencil eraser I am screaming for Scott. I will tell anyone Kaboom isn't for cleaning it is BUG SPRAY. 1 to 2 squirts will smother a spider faster than: clorox clean up, windex, actual bug spray, scrubbing bubbles ect…. I have tried anything I had to kill those things. When we come to dinner remind me to tell you my spider baby experience!!!

Elizabeth August 6, 2009 at 3:26 am

Thanks so much for giving me the heebie jeebies today. I'm still reeling from an encounter with a giant garden spider in our kitchen the other night. I'm going to have flashbacks for years.
.-= Elizabeth´s last blog ..My Breastfeeding Story =-.

Heather August 6, 2009 at 3:51 am

being Canadian where the worst bugs we have are mosquitoes and black flies I hereby vow to NEVER go to Texas. Ever. Not even once.
.-= Heather´s last blog ..How to use a writing journal to increase productivity =-.

Heather Z August 6, 2009 at 3:57 am

He forgot to add that he also beat the dictionary with a hammer. I am not sure scorpion bashing was on Webster's list of uses for a dictionary. But it may be the only time I have seen him actually use one!
.-= Heather Z´s last blog ..Being Diagnosed as "Old" =-.

Ashlie- Mommycosm August 6, 2009 at 4:15 am

Ok, first of all…size 15 Nikes?! Impressive. Almost made me forget my story…

We have a second house in Aruba. I was on the floor with my (then) 6 month old baby. A scorpion runs UP MY ARM and either jumps off or falls off onto the floor when I starting flailing my arms…then it scurried under the sofa.

I screamed, grabbed the baby and headed for the door.

My neighbor, a local, laughed hysterically at me. He then went into the house, killed the nickel-sized demon and brought it out to show me *shiver*.

Apparently, these mini-sized buggers are quite venomous. He swears my daughter wouldn't have died if it stung her, but that we would have needed to get her to the hospital asap.

Now, we pay an exterminator big bucks to come to the house about a week before we arrive. I saw a dead one in the pool last year, but none in the house. This happened over 6 years ago and I still get the eebie jeebies when I think of it.
.-= Ashlie- Mommycosm´s last blog ..Onion Obesession =-.

Mr Blonde August 6, 2009 at 4:31 am

I have little fear when it comes to animals. Big ones. Small ones. Racoons for example. Snakes screw me up. Except this one. Insects are no big deal. But, the second you add a stinger rules change. I respect 'em. "You just do your thing and I'll do mine. And, we're cool." — Until you turn your back and I spray you with poison or stomp on your dead @$$. That said, good move. Gratitude coming your way from the MidWest. -Mr. Blonde
.-= Mr Blonde´s last blog ..LA unplugged: depacifying a toddler =-.

Telling Dad August 6, 2009 at 5:02 am

I'm thrilled to know that I'm not alone in my bug phobia and to have Mr Blonde's "Stomp of Approval" is a good thing. For me, I don't discriminate based on stingers. I stomp 'em all, no questions asked.

Thank you for the comments and bug stories…even though they creep me out! Especially Ashlie's…I would have hacked my arm off with a dull blade if I saw a scorpion on it.

Diane J. August 6, 2009 at 5:56 am

Darn regulations! I'm not bug person either. I'm even worse with snakes. As far as I know, we don't have any poisonous snakes, just the garter variety. But, it's a snake. My cat brings them to me….alive! I've thought about taking the cat's life, but darn it all the kids love him. Although I think the 15-year-old loves him because he makes money from the snakes. As I bounce around screaming he bargains with me how much he'll take to get rid of it…evil child. Last time I threatened that if he wanted to keep his happy home, with food, playstation, i-pod, he'd remove it at no charge. He called my bluff and walked away. I nearly died, I paid a pretty penny that day. Usually I love that kid.

Your scorpion story is hysterical, I just love it! Glad that it has become less stress inducing over time.

Have a great day! (Mental note: never go to Texas…ever.)
.-= Diane J.´s last blog ..Manners 101 =-.

trisha August 6, 2009 at 6:04 am

My Dad gets them too..they walk right in the house we figure. We dont know how they get in. He once lifted the coffee pot to find one underneath…we think it was a set up by the other scorpions to off him. He finds one once a month!

trisha
.-= trisha´s last blog ..How To Increase Your Twitter Profile Technorati Authority =-.

AJ @ A Little Bit Nu August 6, 2009 at 6:36 am

We don't have any scorpions except the plastic kind. I don't know who's idea it was to make this hideous toys. I was sitting in the kitchen at the bar when I noticed a scorpion beside the stove. I freaked (like you) I grabbed a bowl and put it over it. Then I noticed it wasn't moving. Well yeah it wasn't real. Unfortunately we have snakes, nasty centipedes and other creepy crawlers. The snakes freak me out the most. Read this…if you dare! http://www.anuttymom.com/2009/06/what-not-to-do-w
.-= AJ @ A Little Bit Nutty´s last blog ..wwWhipUp! The Must-Have Mom Manual =-.

Telling Dad August 6, 2009 at 6:39 am

@AJ – Real or not, I would have smacked it into oblivion. I had no idea they made toys out of scorpions. Our kids already aren't allowed to have fake guns but these are being added to the list.

@trisha – One a month? I wouldn't be able to handle that. We've seen about 15 in our 3+ years in Texas. That is 15 too many.

@Diane – LOL, well, my snake phobia is right up there with bugs. Enterprising young man you have there. I'd pay whatever was asked.

Kadi August 6, 2009 at 7:58 am

I'm very disappointed that you did not run the FlipCam when this happened. ALWAYS carry your Flip in your pocket…ALWAYS. Every moment is potential blog fodder.

Also, I feel your pain. I do the butt clinch whenever I see creepy crawlies.
.-= Kadi´s last blog ..Reader Etiquette =-.

Jenna August 6, 2009 at 8:23 am

Eek Eek Eek! This reminds me of my mom attempting to chase a huge spider with the vacuum hose once. Uh Mom, the thing will just crawl back out!! Yucky!

Clarissa Nassar August 6, 2009 at 8:37 am

come to upstate NY! we have bugs that no one has ever seen I swear! We had a half grasshopper/ half beetle thing in the kitchen the other day–EWWWWWWWW even the BUGS inbreed up here :/
.-= Clarissa Nassar´s last blog ..The Post About How I Feel =-.

Not So Average Mama August 6, 2009 at 9:34 am

SO far I have not had to deal with scorpions in Texas, but I totally feel ya on the bugs here! First off…nothing is small. They are all friggin' huge! A few years back I found a monster spider in my kitchen! It was as big as the palm of my hand. After calling my brother-in-law to kill it for me I looked it up online. Apparently it was something called a fishing spider…they actually catch fish! Thankfully they are not poisonous!
.-= Not So Average Mama´s last blog ..Bumkins Back To School Blog Tour =-.

Trish August 6, 2009 at 11:20 am

Oh gross, gross, gross! I get the hebby-geebies just thinking about it! I was out pulling weeds the other day and right after i pulled a clump a large black widow spider ran up our steps right into her web that was right by my hand. I freaked out and ran and got the spider killer spray. I sprayed it dead and the whole area. We had a few around last year, but this was the first I saw this year. And what freaked me out most was that it was right next to my hand. I could have easily been bitten!
.-= Trish´s last blog ..Old Favorites Still Available! =-.

Jennifer August 6, 2009 at 12:12 pm

*shudder* We have lived in 4 states, up until now, the worst offenders were millipedes, which are I guess harmless, but icky. This is the furthest south me have lived and the first time I saw a Cicada I freaked out. Same reaction to a June bug. We have a creek with all sorts of icky things that are fine as long as they stay in their habitat and out of mine.
.-= Jennifer´s last blog ..Migraine Brain Thoughts With A Hint of Caffeine =-.

Marianna @ Green Mam August 6, 2009 at 12:29 pm

No way no how could I handle scorpions. You guys are brave. Can I assume that your doggie was OK?
.-= Marianna @ Green Mama's Pad´s last blog ..Tomorrow is the big day! =-.

Heather Z August 6, 2009 at 12:39 pm

Yes, our dog was just fine. In fact, he went back to sleep while all of this was still going on. I think it startled him but he was oblivious.
.-= Heather Z´s last blog ..Being Diagnosed as "Old" =-.

Firefly August 6, 2009 at 1:34 pm

As I've said before I hate bugs and anything crawling and ugh…

But really LMAO to this I would love to see that on the video 🙂

"He forgot to add that he also beat the dictionary with a hammer. I am not sure scorpion bashing was on Webster’s list of uses for a dictionary. But it may be the only time I have seen him actually use one!"
.-= Firefly´s last blog ..What Do I Want Part Five =-.

Heather Z August 6, 2009 at 4:14 pm

Now that I am reminiscing, I think that the scorpion dictionary/hammer bashing may be the only time I have seen Greg use a hammer as well.
.-= Heather Z´s last blog ..Being Diagnosed as "Old" =-.

Melissa Multitasking August 7, 2009 at 5:10 am

So glad I can tell my 13 year old that he is not the only male afraid of creepy crawly creatures!
.-= Melissa Multitasking Mama´s last blog ..Joy Cometh! =-.

Rhea@mommy23monkeys August 7, 2009 at 6:44 am

Oh hell no! I have had to get used to the Black Widows that like to come in my house to visit, I don't know if I could deal with scorpions. YUCK!

Binary Blonde August 7, 2009 at 2:00 pm

We live in the outskirts of Austin (technically Dripping Springs) and had a very similar experience in December of 2008, when my son was just a few months old. One of our cats was batting at something and then jumped, hissed and ran away. We just looked at each other and then slowly looked back at what could have scared our cat away.

Man, that sucker was HUGE.. well.. no, not really, but it sure as heck looked like Godzilla to us! We had never seen a scorpion before, except under glass at the Natural History Museum!

My husbands reaction was about the same as yours.. and all I could do was clutch my son to my chest and pray to God that there weren't more of them.

Well, there's been two more since then.. but they don't freak us out as bad. Sure, we trap them, take them outside and PULVARIZE them into dust, but we're not as terrified as we were that first time.

Also, we had the exterminators come out at the crack of dawn the next day as well. LOL!
.-= Binary Blonde´s last blog ..Wildly Better, You Say? =-.

Cindi @ Moomette&#03 August 7, 2009 at 7:19 pm

Eeww! The closest we've come to that is a box-recluse furry thing in the bathroom when DD26 was about 5. That spider keeps getting bigger every time I tell the story, but even the DH had to take care of it with about 10 whacks of his favorite pair of preppy Sperry Topsiders back then!
.-= Cindi @ Moomette's Magnificents´s last blog ..Back-To-School In Style With Carolina Pad: Review and Giveaway =-.

Amanda August 8, 2009 at 11:45 pm

And that's exactly why I don't live in the South. Those bugs are on steroids.
.-= Amanda´s last blog ..Small Talk Six – Lazy =-.

Brittany August 9, 2009 at 7:16 am

We just moved from Texas (lived in Hill Country for awhile) to Arizona. I had a bagillion posts about the Texas creatures. We had a snake come in (just a grass one), a cat with babies, a opposum that wasn't so friendly try to hide in our kitchen, I've been stung (as well as my kids) by those scorpions and oh so much more. Have you met the June Bugs that attach themselves to your hair next to your ear and bzzzzzzz the whole time. Or the love bugs that make your non black car look black after driving through them? Wait till it rains really good one year – your entire house and around your house will become infested with Frogs. Oh yes, frogs!!!! LOL Makes me miss Texas – it's boring without all the creature adventures!!!
.-= Brittany´s last blog ..UPDATED –Help For Me And You =-.

Alyson August 9, 2009 at 10:35 am

Dude!! I hear ya totally! You did not see my unwelcome guest – http://www.3psinapod.com/2009/06/15/todays-unwant…. Ain't Texas grand??
.-= Alyson´s last blog ..Question of the Day =-.

Jennifer (Conversion December 16, 2009 at 9:10 am

Ooooh, yeah. I have an entire category for scorpions on my blog — we also live in the Austin area. I actually just saw one last night — DON'T THESE THINGS HIBERNATE?!

Anyway, I'm glad to have discovered your blog. I'll be back.
.-= Jennifer (Conversion Diary)´s last blog ..Doubt after atheism =-.

kimmie December 22, 2009 at 9:37 pm

Oh my goodness!! I laughed so hard reading this, my kids stopped watching their video to laugh at me. I love God but I told him…scorpions aren’t fair!! We don’t stand a chance! We can’t see ’em till they are too close, only the giant ones make any noise, and we can’t get rid of ’em. What’s up wit h that?!?

Andrea Corradini October 20, 2011 at 7:13 pm

so funny… i once wrote about scorpion assholes. not because i’m enamored with them or anything, but i AM enamored with PEEPS (yes, the bunny easter candy), and in a posting i may have mentioned a correlation between PEEPS and Scorpion assholes, which a friend of mine then commented that that would make a good band name (course you’d have to make both words proper nouns, which means it would read Scorpion Assholes). Anyway, agree. Scorpions are wicked vicious.

Ashley January 8, 2012 at 8:21 pm

I just came across your blog and, as I’m sure you’re well aware, it’s hilarious. I was especially thrilled to read about your dealings with scorpions as I had pretty much the exact same situation occur when I moved from the suburbs of Kansas City down to rural Georgia. No one told me there were freaking scorpions here. I couldn’t believe it. Utterly terrifying. Anyway, I loved your post and thanks for sharing!

Mer January 10, 2012 at 7:10 am

I was camping with my extended family (6 uncles, their wives, countless cousins, grandparents, and my immediate family), and we were all sitting around a fire when I saw one go up my pant leg.
You can bet I was out of those pants in less time than it takes to blink, so there I was, wearing sneakers and lacy undergarments, in front of my entire family, and jumping up and down on my pants screaming like a mad woman.
Finding them in my house would probably end more dramatically. Thankfully the worst thing I get in my apartment is the occasional roach or silverfish.

gin June 6, 2012 at 9:10 am

Only 2 bugs I can not tolorate, Crickets and scorpions. But your antics are very similar to my husbands reaction to snakes… He litteraly ran from the barn (picture a 250 plus, 6 foot guy, high stepping as he runs) screaming like a girl – snake, snake, snake!
Of course I promptly ran in the barn, caught the snake, and did a, ooohhh cool, show and tell with the kids. He was ready to KILL me.

Jim Haire June 14, 2015 at 11:51 pm

We’ve been citizens of the TX hill country (Blanco) now for about a month; I’ve sprayed double strength applications of Demon WR on the outside, dusted the ground around the house with pesticide with Diatemaceous soil in it, cut strips of coarse steel wool and pressed into the weep holes in the brick around the house. Seems that would be enough, right?! We’ve killed more scorpions in the last week, or found them dead, INSIDE after all this, than in any prior week! They say it’ll get worse with the onset of hot weather, and that it’ll get better after a couple of years. All I can say is, “BRING IT, SCORPIONS! I got something for you!”

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