Today’s post is written by my sister, Chicken Farmer, who is a resident of Double S Farms – a place that I have often posted about. This is her story of an unexpected surprise and not necessarily a welcome one.
I have to start this post by saying that I love Arizona. Really, I do. But the first time I saw a scorpion, I was ready to high tail it back to California. Yes, there are scorpions in California, but I didn’t see one until I moved to Arizona.
Scorpions like to eat insects and you can see the wings of the Lacewing bug that he had just captured. By the way, Lacewings are the sort of insect you want in your garden. They eat aphids.
My family and I have lived in Arizona for close to 4 years. the first 2 1/2 years, we didn’t see a single scorpion around our house. However, my mother, who lived about 5 miles from us, had a ton of them in her backyard. And by a ton, I’m talking about 40 – 50 scorpions on her back garden wall in a single night when we first realized she had a problem.
As soon as she realized that she had scorpions, my brother and husband were on a mission. They showed up at her house armed with a black light and a torch (which is really my creme brulee torch from Williams Sonoma). The strange thing about scorpions is that they glow a bright green color under a black light so they’re very easy to spot at night. Once my brother and husband would spot one, they’d fry them with the torch. After a few weeks of this, her scorpion problem got a lot better.
Fast forward to about a year ago when my husband and I purchased Double S Farms with my mother. The first day at the house, I saw a scorpion on the drapes. An hour later, I found one in my bathroom. An hour after that, one of them crawled out of a box I was unpacking. I’m not really wimpy about bugs, but I have to admit that I was totally freaked. We soon came to find out that our house was literally crawling with scorpions. Within our first year of living at Double S Farms, I’d guess we’ve found at least 75+ of those buggers in our house!
There are 30 – 45 scorpion species here in Arizona. Of those, only one is considered life threatening – the bark scorpion. Unfortunately, we have seen those little stinkers in our house. We have young boys and have found scorpions within inches of their feet on more then one occasion. Fortunately, their pediatrician has assured me that since my kids are healthy, they would weather a scorpion sting just fine. In addition, Arizona is home of the only scorpion antivenin program in North America – so an antivenin, if needed, is available at most local hospitals.
We have taken a lot of measures to eliminate our scorpion problem (including having our home sealed and getting chickens). Although we’ve seen an improvement, we still find them in the house more often than I’d like (3 of them just last week!).
I guess my next step should be to learn to co-exist with them, which really isn’t likely as that is definitely not in my DNA.
For more information on scorpions such as what they eat and how they kill their prey, you can click on this link.
**Noelle here – I must say that I have lived in Arizona for over 23 years in 5 different houses and have only seen one scorpion (it was in the garage). You can have a scorpion problem in one neighborhood and two blocks away, there are none.
By the way, my sister has started her own blog about her life in Arizona. Please visit her at http://finleyandoliver.blogspot.com