It’s Called Scorpion Hunting, and it’s a Thing

We’ve officially resided in the desert for just shy of 18 months. I love most things about living here. I like that we don’t have to shovel wet, heavy, snow in the spring. I like that we get to enjoy amazing sunsets every night. I like that we have a Monsoon Season, with thunder, lightening and rain in the middle of the scorching summer months. I like feeling the warmth (I mean the crazy, intense heat) when I come out of an air-conditioned building. I don’t like 100 degree temperatures past Labor Day. I don’t like wearing summer clothes as often as I do. I miss my boots. And I absolutely despise some of the critters living in these parts: rattle snakes, coyotes, javolena pigs (yep, Google them), and of course, the infamous scorpions. These critters are what nightmares are made of.

The night we moved in, my brother-in-law and teenage nephews, showed up at our door with this thing called a black-light. They informed us we were going on a scorpion hunt. We were weary from moving and unpacking boxes, and we weren’t really thinking through the magnitude of this whole hunting expedition. I don’t think it became real until they walked through our house and to the backyard to shine the black light in every nook and cranny to hunt for scorpions. These little critters are best found under a black light in the dark of night. Did I mention, our backyard? They weren’t intending to take us to the vacant lot down the street, or the neighborhood park. No. They were planning to find scorpions in our own backyard. God help me!

Much to my dismay, they found some. They were along the fence line of our house. I didn’t look. Couldn’t look. That night, we lay in bed, in the dark, unfamiliar room, staring at the ceiling. I’m not sure what my husband was thinking, but I was very much aware that if scorpions were outside our door, they most definitely wanted in at some point. And that’s when this unhealthy fear of these critters started for me. You better believe I called THE best pest control service in town the very next morning.

I started to hear scorpion stories everywhere I went.

My sister told me, “Scorpions don’t crawl upstairs. You only have to worry about them on the main level of your home. Some people I know put the legs of their bed posts in glass jars because scorpions can’t climb up glass for some reason.”

A neighbor told me, “Scorpions don’t like the sunshine or the heat. They live under rocks. You’ll be fine. Just always, always wear shoes when you’re outside.”

“The lady at Sprouts said, “I always keep a pair of flip flops near my bed at night in case I need to go to the bathroom. Wouldn’t want to step on one of those critters.”

And this topped them all. The pool guy shared this ditty with me. “I had one come through the jetted tub in my bathroom. They can live in pipes.”

Then I started to hear horror stories of actual scorpion stings.

I stepped on one outside one evening. Boy did it hurt.

I was folding laundry, fresh out of the dryer, and one stung me.

My 3 year old daughter was stung by one while taking a bath. It was so scary.

I ended up in the ER because it was so painful.

Lord have mercy.

Last week a friend of mine showed up at my house. She came in, and gingerly sat down on my couch. I asked her what had happened. No joke, she had thrown out her back the night before when she was scorpion hunting. And then, a few nights ago I was parked in a dark driveway picking up my daughter from a friend’s house. I saw a figure and dim light out of the corner of my eye. You guessed it. The next door neighbor was on the hunt.

Friends, this is a real thing. People everywhere, across the Valley of the Sun, armed with black lights, participate in scorpion hunts on a nightly basis.

So logically you must be wondering how you dispose of such evil? Of course insecticides, but some “professional” hunters I know carry a propane lighter (when hunting outside) and burn them to a crisp. Done and done.

I can assure you that 18 months later, I am still a hot mess about scorpions.  I can’t say I’ve ever seen a living one, thank the Lord. However, to quote our realtor who sold us our lovely home, “Those who don’t see scorpions, don’t want to see them, but that doesn’t mean they’re not there.”

And there you go.

Sleep tight, and don’t let the bed bugs bite, or the scorpions sting.

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