Tag Archives: Snakes

The Scorpions (No, Not the Band)

We first saw this house in June of 2011, when Texas was balls-deep in its worst drought and heat wave in recorded history. It was horrifyingly oppressive outdoors, and this farmhouse had been closed up for a while.  I was a little disconcerted out to find a dead scorpion up on a bathroom light fixture, and another on the kitchen floor.  I asked our realtor about it, and he said, “Welcome to the Texas countryside.”

I forgot about the scorpions when we moved in here the day after Thanksgiving.  I was so excited about just finally being here, that I forgot about everything else for a little bit. The first night, A was on the carpet with one of our cats, going, “Yay, kitty, we have a farmhouse!” and then he was yelling and rolling around on the floor.  He shouted, “Motherfucking scorpion just stung me on my baby finger!” and then we were smooshing our feet around the carpeting trying to make sure wherever it was, it was dead.  I don’t think we killed it that night*.  We scrambled around looking for vinegar, because we’d heard that helps with the pain, and A walked around for the rest of the night with his hand above heart level to stop the throbbing and electrical stinging.  We went to bed that night pretty much skeeved out that we might be sleeping in a scorpion den.

*The next day, a couple of guys came over to work on the electrical, for an inspection/appraisal compliance that was coming up soon. We were in the kitchen talking to one of the guys, and a scorpion came sauntering across the kitchen floor in the middle of the day like he owned the joint.  I screamed, “Holy shit! Look at that!” and A smashed him with a spoon.  (I still think it was the scorpion from the night before.)  We did some research on organic controls and went out and bought diatomaceous earth, and sprinkled it all around the house.  We felt pretty confident about that.

Rock You Like a Hurricane

A day or two later, I was washing dishes and pulled some gunk out of the drain.  The basin had about two inches of really hot water in it, and it was all plugged up in there.  I pulled up a little handful, and a big scorpion ran across my hand and back into the water.  I freaked out as hard as a grown woman can freak out (and not have a stroke or heart attack), I smashed that fucker into little pieces and we went to Tractor Supply to ask about the most vicious poison available to make scorpions deader than dead.  Fuck organics.  Certification on this place doesn’t start until AFTER the USDA gets here, so we wanted napalm if we could get it. Instead, we got this stuff called Demon WP and a sprayer.

A few days later, we decided to get rid of some way-overgrown lantana in the side beds, right next to the house.  I was kind of poking around with a spade (no gloves) and asked A to grab a shovel and try tearing the fat, extensive roots right out of the beds.  He stuck a pitchfork in there and BLAMMO, scorpions started pouring out of the beds.  At least two dozen came rolling out and scattered into the grass.  I was running around screaming and flapping my arms and generally acting like a raging half-wit.  A went inside and put on high boots, pants that cinch around the ankles, gloves, a mask and a kick-ass attitude. He then filled the sprayer with poison and saturated the entire perimeter of our house, including all cracks, crevices…if it looked like a scorp hole, poison went in.  We waited a few days, and hit the perimeter again.  When we went out to fix up the chicken coop, we found more scorpions, so A donned his gear again and hit every single out-building, inside and out.

About a week ago, I went to weed the beds.  I found dozens of dead scorpions.  I would pull up some weeds and a scorpion or two, say, “Haahaa, motherfucker!” and proceed to the next clump.

Demon WP when used in conjunction with a pissed-off chef has turned out to be a killer combination.

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