It’s Scorpion Time

When we first moved to Arizona, my wife and kids were terrified of all the creatures that they just knew were out to get them. Living in the Sonoran desert there are all kinds of wild animals that are foreign to a family coming from Idaho.

There were tales of people finding rattle snakes in their backyards, killer bees attacking people unprovoked, and scorpions whose stings were so painful that people pleaded for relief. For the first few months there was a nightly ritual where we had to check under each bed for unwanted creatures that were lurking to attack in the middle of the night.

When we built our house, the land had previously been a cotton field. As such we were told that most of the desert creatures were not indigenous to the area. We would instead have to worry about small flies and other bugs that would eat our plants. Still, if we didn’t have to worry about snakes, killer bees, and scorpions it was a good trade off.

We have now lived in Arizona for over 15 years and in that time we have never seen a snake, rattle or otherwise, near our house. We did have episode with killer bees but other than that it has been fairly quiet around the house when it comes to scary creatures.

Over the past two months something has seriously changed. It started one night when my daughter was taking a shower. She just started the water when all of a sudden we heard a blood curdling scream. We ran up the stairs as she ran out of the bathroom proclaiming there was a scorpion in the bathtub.

Just a couple of weeks later was a second episode. I was brushing my teeth before bed. I leaned over to spit out toothpaste and just inches from my face was a small scorpion scurrying around the sink. Rather than screaming like a banshee, I spit toothpaste on it then killed it with my shoe I had just taken off.

The third scorpion sighting occurred when we were packing a cooler for a family trip. I reached for the cooler lid and just before I noticed a small scorpion sitting where my hand was going to rest.

These three scorpions brought back all the fears and terror that Trina and the kids had when we first moved in. We decided that it would be a good idea to take a more aggressive stance and have a scorpion hunt.

Scorpion hunts are fairly common in Arizona. Manned with a black light we went to the background to try and find out where these creatures were coming from. For those who have never been around scorpions a black light might seem like a strange light source to pick.

Scorpions glow a bluish green when hit with a black light making them extremely easy to spot. The first night we went out we found six scorpions in the backyard along the fence. We notified the neighbors who also began hunting.

Over the next two weeks our next door neighbor found 35 scorpions in his yard. For the last week or so no one has found any until last night. As Trina and I went out for our nightly walk I noticed something on the side of our house near the front door. As I investigated I found it was a full grown scorpion.

I smashed it against the wall but for the rest of the night I had to go to each child’s bedroom and look under the bed with a black light to make sure it was safe for them to go to sleep.


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