Well I suppose it was inevitable that someone born around mid November should have scorpions feature in their life at some point. Last night we had our first scorpion of significant size (albeit a bit smaller than above) appear in the house. There he was, large as life and black as coal right in the middle of the wall leading upstairs…to our bedroom!!  Cue scary music.

I see them all the time around the wood pile and they are fascinating to watch. They nest in the logs – usually between the bark and the wood. I always use thick gloves when chopping etc and will come across one or more of them most mornings. I can usually tell now which logs will probably host the things so i’m kind of anticipating them. But in the house it’s different. They just appear, brazenly, out of nowhere and there’s no way of knowing where they came from nor where they’re hiding. They like tight, dark, slightly moist spaces. Now that one’s appeared in the house, it’s time to be v careful about putting on your slippers etc in the morning or the gloves to do the wood-cutting.

I’m pretty sure I had one in one of my wellies the other day. I was walking along when something just started causing a pain on the calf. When I got back to the house my calf was bloodied and swollen and the skin had been rubbed off – the boots hadn’t done this previously. I had a really messy swelling/sore for a couple of weeks. I’m pretty sure one had stung me but I believe the scorpions we have here are too small to cause a serious problem but you never know. And we are paranoid that one of the grandsons (or other kids staying with us) will go and pick one up to play with it – S in particular loves doing bug hunts and he has a field day here.  

So there we are; the buggers have started appearing. We’ve only found a very few actually in the house but it’s the shock of seeing them that’s so unsettling. Plus the fact they take some killing. That body covering of theirs is like mini armour. It takes a good 4 or 5 whacks with a shoe to see them off – which usually results in a wall being splattered with lurid insectidal body fluids too. I don’t enjoy killing any creature to be honest and I’d pick them up and put them outside if only I had the courage and chain mail gloves. But the Casa Paulie rule is that outside they are entitled to their freedom but the house is a no-go area. Trouble is it’s hard to put up signs when you don’t speak Italiano very well, let alone scorpiano. I’ll tell you something else, these buggers move like the wind too so once you announce your intentions with an initial clip, it’s essential to follow-up with a flurry of killer blows otherwise they’ll disappear into a crack to lick their wounds whilst they plot their revenge…The last thing I need is a scorpion crawling into my bed with a vendetta against me.  

I don’t remember reading about  scorpions in the bedroom in the let’s-move-to-Italy brochure. Funny that.



4 thoughts on “scorpions!

  1. Scorpions have the odd property of glowing vividly under UV light. If you can get yourself one of those party blacklights on an extension cord, you’ll be able to spot the scorpions much more easily.

  2. hi alex

    many thks for checking in and for the tip. i’d be just a bit worried about seeing a few too many of the little buggers! if i tried that light in the bedroom C might get the wrong idea too…

    anyway i’ve checked out your site – fascinating stuff. what do you know about italian wood scorpions like ours? are they mildly harmful or should we be more circumspect? what might they be looking for in the house – is it warmth, a food source maybe? or have they got their stingers out for me?


  3. hi pat

    now that’s an interesting diet. imagine the dinner table conversations at meerkat manor – eat up your scorpions or you won’t grow up to be a tunneller.

    good input from Oli though. I think i’ll put a picture of a meerkat above the bed!
    ciao p

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