Q: What is more terrifying than a scorpion?

June 12, 2007 | 14 comments

A: A scorpion that you thought was dead but turns out to be an angry, un-dead scorpion out for revenge.

Have you ever seen one of those horror movies where it’s getting close to the end and the heroes finally kill the monster…but it was a little too easy? And as they’re casually high-fiving each other and turn their backs on the monster you want to scream, “Look out! He’s not dead yet!”, and sure enough, he suddenly comes back to life to terrorize them a bit more before the movie ends.

That’s kind of how it went down around here this morning.

The exterminator came yesterday, and it would appear that his fancy chemicals worked (or perhaps the scorpions all killed themselves after hearing one too many unsolicited opinions). This morning I walked into my dining room to see the disturbing-yet-somehow-satisfying sight of a dead scorpion on my living room floor.

Now, Old Jen would have covered it with some heavy object for my husband to deal with when he came home. But I am now New Very Holy and Catholic Jen who selflessly does things to help others, so I decided to scoop the thing up myself so that my husband has one less thing to do when he comes home tonight. I calmly, gracefully grabbed a sheet of paper and bent down to slide it under the curled up, dead scorpion. I pictured it sliding onto the paper like a dead leaf for me to whisk over to the toilet.

As soon as the paper touched it it unrolled into a much larger, much angrier, much less dead scorpion who was now running around just stinging everything in sight. New Very Holy and Catholic Jen let out a blood-curdling scream, uttered a slew of profanity that would make a sailor blush, threw a book on the thing and called my husband to shriek at him about dealing with it as soon as he walks through the door tonight.

This is, however, the final data point I needed to prove once and for all that the sole purpose of scorpions’ existence is “to be creepy”. Some examples:

  • They evidently have a penchant for only pretending to be dead (see above).
  • They glow in the dark.
  • They just look creepy with those pincers and that stinger-tail.
  • Their venom is specifically formulated to be painful.
  • They seem to hang out in beds and shoes a lot. Other nasty insects like roaches or spiders usually have the decency to confine themselves to kitchens or garages or attics, but it would appear that the primary habitat for Centruroides vittatus is “the beds and shoes of people who know Jennifer F.”

And, finally, I recently read that fossil records indicate that these things have been hanging out being creepy for like 450 million years. They have an incredibly high tolerance to radiation and it’s thought that nothing short of inter-planetary collision could wipe them out. So you kind of get the feeling that though I may have conquered them here in my house, the rest of them are thinking, “Whatever. In the end, we win.”

[Administrative Note: I have finally come to terms with the fact that I will not be able to shut up about this until the last scorpion is gone from my house, so I have created a Scorpions category and will be updating the older posts.]


  1. lyrl

    I love the scorpions category!

    Oh, Jen, I’m so sorry you have to go through this, but it is absolutely hilarious reading your posts (from the safety of about 700 miles north of you, of course).

  2. Darwin

    It may be that scorpion duty is not the right mileu for Very Holy and Catholic Jen.

    This may be more of a case for Conservative Jen Complete With Scorpion Killing Weapon Accessory.

    The issue is, of course, picking the right accessory. Clearly it needs to be something with a long handle so you don’t need to get too close to the scorpion in order to kill it. It should also be fairly flat on the bottom so that yo don’t just wound the little blighter. The tricky part is, it should probably also be something that doesn’t cause massive damage when applied to scorpions lurking on furniture and crockery.

    Maybe some weird kind of cross between a fly swatter and a potatoe masher, only with a very long hangle?

  3. Anonymous

    Funny you should mention a scorpion killing itself, as that is something they will do. I once saw a scorpion “suicide” in France; a ring of children had a small scorpion trapped in a circle of large sticks they were holding; they were going to pound him to death. The scorpion stung himself and died.

    I asked a zoologist about that on a later occasion and he said he had heard of such things happening. Scorpions are vicious, nasty creatures and in a life or death situation would rather die by their own hand, so to speak, then allow themselves to be killed by another.

    You definitely have my sympathy on your infestation.

  4. Jennifer F.

    Darwin! You just reminded me, we have one of these. You’ve got to see it in action next time you guys are here. JL is convinced it’s the best invention ever.

    It would probably be great for killing scorpions. …Although I’m kind of afraid to try. JL killed a big bug with it the other day and it started crinkling and smoking. I’d hate to see what would happen with a scorpion.

  5. mrsdarwin

    My first thought on reading this was: OMG THAT SUX.

    I had this very thing happen to me once with a large roach (and believe me, it had taken time to screw up my courage to approach the thing when I thought it was dead). I ended up beating it with a broom — not a really efficient weapon, but one that conveniently allowed me to stay six feet away.

  6. Travis

    Are you making these stories up at this point? I think the amazing thing is that you actually type a blog post knowing that a scorpion could be lurking around the corner.

    Very funny posts, but sorry you are dealing with this. We don’t have scorpions in Louisiana, so all that I can really imagine is a poisonous Crawfish. Hmmm, that’s it. When we have problems with crawfish here, we boil them. Scorpion problem solved.

    Let me know if they make a good Etoufee!

    May St. Michael protect you from the wickedness and snares of the scorpion.

    God Bless,


  7. lindsey

    Living in Oklahoma for part of my life, I can sympathize with the scorpion problem. My brother was stung by one in his sleep and couldn’t feel his lips for a day.

    (I probably wouldn’t find that so amusing if it had been me who had been stung!)

    But I wanted to share with you something I stumbled across earlier today while looking for a verse to reference in my blog.

    “I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.” (Luke 10:19)

    You’re going to survive this battle, and Jesus agrees! Best of luck!

  8. Theocoid

    Not only have they been around for a bazillion years, here are also an unbelievable number of varieties, and they live in all kinds of environments.

  9. Anonymous

    Tongs – the kind most people have in their kitchen – work great for picking up dead and/or alive scorpions. We keep a pair in every room in the house just in case. We even call them “scorpion grabbers” now.


  10. Anonymous

    Did the exterminator treat your entire home environment?

    interior, obviously.

    the lawn, underneath your house (if you have a pier/beam foundation)?

    i dont have experience with scorpions, but i do with fleas; and you have to treat every conceivable area on your property.

    One thing to think about though; scorpions, like their arachnid brothers are beneficials; they prey upon pests and vermin.

    Also, they have not invaded man’s territory; man invaded theirs.

    Good luck.

  11. Peter

    I keep coming back for a another laugh at these scorpion stories.

    Keep up the good work!

  12. Anonymous

    Travis, hate to break it to you, but there are scorpions in Louisiana. I am from NO, but just moved to north of Lake Charles and was shocked to find out this info. YIKES!!!

  13. karatmcalister

    I've been lurking awhile, but I just found this scorpion bit. I can relate, we used to live in Phoenix, and my dad still does, and there are scorpions everywhere. Even now, in London, I still check my shoes and clothes regularly.

    I do, however, have a solution that I can personally vouch for – get a cat. Cats love to torture scorpions and then eat them. It's gross, but there is some satisfaction in watching the scorpions be tortured. It worked like a charm for us, and we rarely ever had them after we got our cat. If I did happen to find one before she did, I just dropped her in front of the scorpion and let her have at it. Pure gold, plus my daughter loved having a cat.

  14. Heidi

    I needed this distraction this afternoon – thank you. Bless… I hate scorpions! I don’t really love spiders or roaches but scorpions freak. me. out. My dad stepped on one when we were little… like swung his legs out of the bed and accidentally touched it with his foot. Then he beat it to death with a shoe while my mom stayed on the bed and flipped out. 🙂


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