Scorpions, you have crossed the line

Guess what I found in a box of clothes in the baby’s room yesterday. A $50 bill! No, kidding. It’s not that kind of house. Any guesses what I actually found, about three feet away from the baby’s crib? Yeah. A scorpion.

For new readers or hopelessly optimistic longtime readers, I should clarify that, unfortunately, I am not referring here to the glamrock band who rocked us all like a hurricane with their 1984 album Love at First Sting. As terrible as that would be, I’m talking about the real, pincer- and stinger-having, hiding-in-shoes, getting-wrapped-up-in-sheets-at-night arachnids.

scorpions vs scorpions Scorpions, you have crossed the line
I mentioned here and here that I strongly prefer that my bedroom be a scorpion-free zone. I have been, you might say, “distressed” about seeing scorpions in my bathroom and bedroom. But when I see them in my baby’s room, right by her crib, it’s time to get medieval on some scorpion a**. The exterminators are coming next week, and I want them to be tearing down walls and ripping up foundation and just dumping chemicals everywhere.

Meanwhile, my husband and I have become a sort of scorpion factoid clearing house, with coworkers and friends and blog readers regaling us with their favorite scorpion trivia and offering tales of being stung. Every time I learn something new about these things it gets worse. For example, my husband was telling his assistant that one of the ones we saw wasn’t all that big, which was refreshing. The assistant pointed out that that was most likely a baby, which means they’re hatching in our house.

Also, well-meaning people keep trying to reassure me by telling me things that only serve to horrify me further. One popular tidbit is that scorpion stings are no worse than wasp stings. I AM TERRIFIED OF WASPS, so this information is not helpful. My mom told me that scorpions fluoresce under blacklight, so I should get one to try to find them at night. Umm…does the thought of turning off all the lights in my house and using a blacklight to illuminate a bunch of GLOWING SCORPIONS IN MY HOUSE not sound just a little too mind-bogglingly creepy to think about?! And, as I type this, I am on the phone with my dad who is telling me the story about how my grandfather (who lives a few miles from here) got one wrapped up in his pajamas while he slept. But, my dad assured me, he only got stung a few times and it really wasn’t any worse than a wasp sting. Whew!

On the bright side, I have discovered an incredibly effective way to get your mother to insist on paying for the best pest control service in town to come to the house and give you their Platinum Package. When going out to dinner with your husband and leaving the kids with her, just say this, as I did last night:

“I left clean diapers and jammies in the bathroom for after bath. The baby has already eaten but DB still needs dinner. Hmm…am I forgetting anything? Oh, yeah, be sure to check the baby’s crib for scorpions before you put her in. Thanks! We’ll be back in a couple hours.”

I promise that one day I will resume regular content and stop writing about scorpions. (Although that may require setting up a separate Scorpions in My House blog since I cannot seem to stop talking about it).

UPDATE: I ended up creating a whole category for my scorpion-related woes. You can see all the posts here (scroll down to see them all).

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24 Responses to “Scorpions, you have crossed the line”
  1. Anonymous says:

    girlfriend, if i had scorpions in my babies rooms, that’s all i would be able to think about!! you go right on telling us all about it. that’s why i keep coming back… to make sure none of yours have been stung… praying for ya’ll.
    cordelia

  2. Robert says:

    There are some things you can do in anticipation of the exterminators coming, to make your house less hospitable to scorpions. (I got these from Wikipedia, but they all seem sensible.)

    Oh, and it’s worth noting in the meantime: scorpions hate the light. Burn a few bucks in electricity this week leaving the house well-lit even at night, and you might seriously reduce the chance of seeing one of the little devils.

    From Wikipedia:

    Scorpions are difficult to control with pesticides alone. Therefore, the first control strategy is to modify the area surrounding a house.

    * Remove all trash, logs, boards, stones, bricks and other objects from around the home.
    * Keep grass closely mowed near the home. Prune bushes and overhanging tree branches away from the house. Tree branches can provide a path to the roof for scorpions.
    * Store garbage containers in a frame that allows them to rest above ground level.
    * Never bring firewood inside the house unless it is placed directly on the fire.
    * Install weather-stripping around loose fitting doors and windows.
    * Plug weep holes in brick veneer homes with steel wool, pieces of nylon scouring pad or small squares of screen wire.
    * Caulk around roof eaves, pipes and any other cracks into the home.
    * Keep window screens in good repair. Make sure they fit tightly in the window frame.

    Wettable powder formulations provide better residual control for crawling pests when applying perimeter sprays. When using pyrethroids or other insecticides labeled for scorpion control, be sure to use the highest permissible label rate.

    Apply pesticides around the foundation of the building and up to 1 foot above ground level on the exterior walls. Also apply pesticides around doors, window eaves and other potential points of entry. Cyfluthrin, bifenthrin, deltamethrin, and bendiocarb are effective pesticides.

  3. Darwin says:

    You could always take the gangsta approach to getting rid of the scorpions: The next scorpion you find, cut off his stinger with a larger pair of pruning clippers. Then tell him severely: “Go back and tell all your friends what we do to your kind around here.”

    After that, squash the scorpion dead, because he doesn’t speak English and has no idea what you just said.

    But don’t you feel better after getting that out of your system?

  4. Anonymous says:

    I’ve never encountered a scorpion, but the father of a friend of mine (in Dallas) was bitten by one and his screams could be heard three blocks away.

    I have been stung by wasps a few times – it hurts like hell, and it continues to hurt for several days. Take no comfort in the “no worse than a wasp sting” offerings.

    • Curtis says:

      Was stung in foot almost a month ago. I am not allergic to bee stings so it should have been ok….right. My left foot remained at 8.5 dia while my right foot swelled to 13 inches!! After a week in the hospital my entire lower leg is wrapped in 4 layers of wrapping and almost 3 weeks later the doctor will not release me to go back to work yet. I live in south Georgia but was stung by a 1 inch Florida bark scorpion. p.s. CHECK YOUR BED LINEN BEFORE GETTING A restful SLEEP!

  5. Seeker says:

    Yuk! Am so glad we don’t have scorpions in the UK!

  6. beez says:

    This may be kind of twisted and wrong, Jen, but I am really enjoying your scorpion posts. I sympathize with your position, but, let’s face it, the graphics are great and there is enough humor in these posts that, frankly, you remind me of Dave Barry.

    Maybe you should contact the Miami Herald, since he’s not writing new columns any more. Maybe scorpions have proven your potential as a real humorist?

  7. Jennifer F. says:

    Darwin – I am about there. Even if the scorpions didn’t fully appreciate the threat, it would be very therapeutic for me.

    Beez – Funny, my husband said the same thing. He said he thinks that maybe I was put on this earth to write about scorpions in my house. I could seriously write five posts per day about it. I’ve actually been restraining myself. :)

  8. Jennifer F. says:

    Oh! And, Robert, thanks for the research!

  9. Theocoid says:

    My sympathies, Jennifer. We hve scorpions here in Idaho, but they’re further south of Boise than I live. However, we do have brown reculse, hobos, and black-widows. Fortunately, they don’t seem to be as pervasive as your arachnids.

    • Gavin says:

      Theocoid, I’m A few year late to give a correction, but actually, I’ve found scorpions in Salmon, ID and just outside of Idaho Falls Idaho…

  10. Anonymous says:

    Hey I am listening to you now on Lino’s show on the Catholic Channel. You’re a great interview to listen to on the radio. I really would like to see pictures of a glow in the dark scorpion. You should do that and post pictures on your blog.

  11. Renee' says:

    i just found this site because i was loking for ways to get the little bastards out of my house too. My two year old daughter has been stung twice and myself once…and yes it hurts! i cant sleep at night because im watching the baby monitor(video) in case something happens or im watching the walls for crawling scorpions… havent found any pestisides that work. I love my house (only been here six months) but now im ready to move!! ~temple, texas

  12. Julie says:

    We have scorpions too.

    We live in the North Georgia mountains. We moved here a year ago and found scorpions. YUCK. My daughter was stung once when she picked up a towel where one lay hiding. Yea, they love to hide under clothes. I read up about them and saw about the light that you could shine on them. I felt the same way. What if I turned it on and found them everywhere. I don’t think I could live in the house after that.

    Thankfully we’ve only seen about 10-12 in the whole year. They surely do love the sinks and drains.

    Have you gotten rid of them? If so, tell us how.

    Julie

  13. Jay says:

    Here how you get rid of them, both effective and fun…

    Around here the like to nest in block walls and get in through the cracks. Find the spots they tend to be outside via a blacklight.

    First, eliminate their food. Have a exterminator spray the exterior yards. Exterminators are good at getting rid of “normal” bugs, they suck at getting rid of scorpions.

    Now, get a powder that is effective (delta dust, DE, boric acid, etc) and dust in the cracks of the walls (or other favorite hiding places). Dust around the perimiter of the house, entry ways, any place a critter could enter.

    Now follow up a treatment of Bifen or Cy-Kick on the exterior.

    You’re almost there…

    To expedite the process you need to hunt and kill them outside.

    The way I do it:
    I have a LED UV Flashlight from ebay. I have it mounted to a full auto AirSoft AK-47 that shoots 410 Feet per second (yea… big boy toy). I simply patrol the exterior each night.

    Populations have gone down from dozens spotted at night to only a few, and the insecticide has only been down a few days, though I have been hunting and killing them at night for a couple weeks.

    My prediction is after another couple weeks they will be virtually extinct to my property combining the chemical + human element.

  14. Sara says:

    Hi, googled about scorpions and ended up here. I live in Las Vegas, Nevada and have a 2 1/2 year old daughter. We have lived in this house two years and have scorpions, too. I sleep so much less these days. I have found at least 15 in my house in the past year alone. No stings, knock on wood, but all of our neighbors have been stung. I worry most about the vents. One of our neighbors said they crawl into the attic during the winter and then come down through the ceiling when it gets too hot or cold. I was actually bathing my daughter last winter and one fell into the tub as she was bathing. My Dad is *supposed* to put mesh boxes around our vents soon. I killed one on my kitchen table last night. Ug.

  15. Kate says:

    Holy Crow! That’d be it for me. My husband, me and our two toddlers tried out The Texas Hill Country for two years but I couldn’t take the scorpions! Wte had an exterminator come with no avail. The fact hat the tennant next door found a rattler in her apartment was enough for this chicken to move back to Virginia-seriously.

  16. Mindyleigh says:

    I don’t have any stories involving the creepy crawling scorpions found in your house. My only scorpions story involves the band the Scorpions. I went backstage and held a beer for Klaus Mein once as he signed autographs. I was (gasp) only 13 or so at the time.

    Let’s hear it for conversion! :)

  17. Anonymous says:

    I am new to the "scorpian" region (Arizona) I 1st saw 1 at my garage door, then at my entry way, now today for the 1st time I just saw in my Kitchen! they have enterd the house, this is now war!! I am afraid to sleep,what has worked for you? I am in major scorpian google mode! help

  18. Janet M S says:

    We have a house in North East GA and I was stung last Saturday night at about 2am while sleeping! One had crawled in the bed….I am a little freaked out, as our bed is pretty high and I thought that would alleviate any bug type thing gettinginto the bed, given that it is a weekend home and we are not there all the time, not to mention that I slept with it in the bed until it stung me…..I now have a big red welt on my chest where it stung me, and yesterday felt quite sick and had a terrible headache… I have had them in my shoes but never in the bed, so that was a little disturbing!

  19. Creeped out !!!!! says:

    I moved into my house a lttle more than two months ago and have seen THREE of these scary things. I have asked my neighbors and they have all told me they have no problems with em in their homes. My house does back up closer to the woods, but only by a few feet and i have only seen them as i they are coming in through my garage which is in the front of my house. I have no idea what to do or where to even begin to get rid of these things. Seeing the first one scare me, but now i feel like they are living with me. It’s to much for me, i’m reay to move but honestly don’t think i would wanna pack in boxes considering i’ve read they tend to stay in and around them. EEEEEK.

  20. Celeste says:

    I have found dead scorpions in my garage. But, I’ve also killed three inside my home. I have sprayed and put down some type of pesticide for scorpions which I bought from Home Depot. None of which helped. Any suggestions

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