It seems this summer our house is being invaded more than usual by scorpions.
When I say scorpions most people picture the big, black emperor scorpions.
No, I’m talking about the stripe bark scorpions that are native to our area. These buggers get up to 2 1/5 inches long, and carry a sting that can last for hours.
Everyone in my family has at some point in time has felt their stings. One summer, I was the unlucky one having been targeted by the arachnids at least eight times, mostly while I was asleep. Not a fun way to wake up.
Out of the dozen or so times I’ve been stung in my life, the worst one had to be on my wrist. It felt like a rod was pulsing through it all day.
So far, my parents have seen, and felt, more than their fair share this summer.
My niece and nephews, coming from New York hadn’t really encountered one. At least, that was until recently.
Not long after getting home, my youngest nephew, Connor — who by the way is like me and will almost inevitably take his shoes off the moment he walks in the door — walked into the kitchen where I was and, pop, felt a sting on the side of his foot.
Of course, not knowing what it was, he yelped and jumped.
Being the nice aunt that I am, I directed him to get a shoe, squash it and then clean it up. I did what I could to try to take his mind off the sting.
He worried it was poisonous and if it was what were his chances. Remember, he is only 9 years old.
I assured him he would be fine.
Then in true Connor fashion, he high-stepped it round the house for a couple of hours hoping to avoid another encounter.
My niece, Addison, also had her concerns.
How many more are there? Will they come after her next?
Where would she be safe?
Her answer to the safety question was on the top bunk. I only partially burst her bubble by telling her scorpions can crawl up the walls.
Didn’t have the heart to tell her they can walk across the ceiling too.
After a bowl of ice cream and some reassurances there was no real danger, both kids went about the rest of the evening playing, with the sting quickly diminishing. Not long after they were jumping in the pool.
Luckily those stings are short lived and, soon an after thought. Although, the kids are now watching every step they take when running through the house.