The Scorpions

The first time i encountered a scorpion in the tiny house was in May. It was after dark. I had washed the dishes and put the food away. I was walking away from the kitchen area and headed for the rocking chair. I heard a very prominent “clink” noise in the sink. I knew it was an insect because i hadn’t left anything in the sink that could “clink”. However, i expected to turn around and see a june bug. It was not a june bug. It was a big old scorpion and it could see me. It met me with pinchers outstretched when i leaned in to take a closer look at the intruder. I began to realize that this thing had to have been on the ceiling. I mean, where else could it have dropped from that would have made such a “clink” noise? It started trying to climb out of the sink. It was a big old boy so i was pretty sure it would figure it out if given the time. I looked for the nearest thing i had handy. The dish washing soap would have to do. I smashed it and smashed it until it stopped moving. The first scorpion of the year was dead. I scooped it onto a “no trespassing” sign i had lying around and threw it outside for the road runners to eat. The second scorpion that arrived was a smaller one. I was lying on the floor with the dogs on either side of me. They were finally still and i was taking the opportunity to doze off for a few minutes. Something startled me awake and i happened to glance over at Cashew just in time to see a scorpion raise its tail to sting Cashew’s foot. In my sleepy delirium there was no time to communicate. I grabbed the puppy by the paw and slid her across the floor quick before the scorpion could bring its stinger down. Now i was mad. It was going to sting Cashew in her sleep for absolutely no reason. How dare it go after my puppy in our own house while she rested?! So i grabbed the nearest thing (my diary) and smashed it with a level of anger i hadn’t channeled in a while. All that was left of it was goo when i was finished. The third and fourth scorpions were unimpressive encounters. It was really just a matter of recognizing movement within the pattern of the floor. They were both very young scorpions; very little. I was amazed i saw them at all. However, the 5th scorpion was perhaps the biggest of all the scorpions i had to kill. It was certainly the smartest. There was a huge scorpion that lived underneath the trash can in my tool shed. The day our 5th little intruder entered the house, the one in the shed disappeared. I have always suspected our 5th scorpion was the same one that lived in the shed. It was big. In the bug world, you don’t get to be big by being stupid. You get to be big by being cunning and cautious. This scorpion was. Believe you me, this scorpion was. It started out along the ceiling in the bathroom. When it saw me it ducked behind the interior wall against the framing where i could not follow it. Over the next week i would find this thing on the wall, in the sink drain, and in the wall outlet. It would hide in places i couldn’t reach it. One night i checked everywhere for it and when it was nowhere to be seen i leaned on the sink to examine a blemish in the mirror. On autopilot, i plugged in my cell phone charger. When i glanced back over at the outlet a giant scorpion had emerged from behind it. Every time i went to smash it the scorpion scurried behind the outlet plate into the wall. One night i went to brush my teeth. Half way through brushing i spit the excess foam into the sink and turned on the water to wash it down the drain. The giant scorpion emerged from under the sink drain. It was like something out of a horror movie. When i least suspected it the scorpion was there. Every time i hunted it the thing was gone. This time i had it in the sink and i knew i had to act fast before it emerged from the drain completely. While its tail was still down the drain i pulled the drain stopper and caught the scorpion in mid escape. For a while it hung there, opening and closing its pinchers at me. I turned the water on and tried to drown it but it appeared to be swimming and it wasn’t dying. So i opened and closed the drain a few times; trying to cut it in half. When that didn’t work i grabbed a glass mouthwash bottle and smashed the scorpion into tiny pieces over and over again until it finally stopped moving. I had to kill this sucker that knew how to hide in walls and drains. He was too smart. After the intelligent bathroom scorpion i stopped counting. There were a couple more but by autumn they really stopped appearing. Everyone seemed very concerned about the scorpions in my house and offered all sorts of ideas about how to stop them, including digging a mote around the house and filling it with diatomaceous earth. It just seemed like a futile effort in my mind. I slept in a mosquito net tent in a 384 square foot box but i lived in a 2 acre scorpion habitat. They were there first. I was inhabiting their territory. Also, there were hundreds of them. What was i going to do, hope to assassinate them all? No, better to just get good at killing them and leave the ones who didnt come in the house alone. There were plenty of spaces large enough for a scorpion to crawl through in the walls of my house; especially around light fixtures, light switch plates, and outlets. However, i was averaging 4 hours of sleep a night as i was trying to balance work, school, homesteading, and training a puppy. There was no time to go around on my hands and knees with a tube of plaster. That would have to be a project for another season of my life.

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1 Comment

  1. From the “For What It’s Worth Department”.

    At night, a scorpion illuminated with ultra violet light looks like a blue-green ghost. I’m always amazed at how bright they can glow.

    LED ultra violet flashlights are available just for scorpion hunting…they don’t cost that much more than a regular flashlight.

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