In a recent article, I talked about all the critters that poke, stick, sting and bite, one of those critters we deal with out here are the scorpions, and it’s the beginning of scorpion season now. A few years back, we had a rash of them inside the sky castle, we were killing one and two a night, every night. They become active after dark, coming out to hunt other insects, mostly crickets and such. I wouldn’t mind except for their nasty sting. When we had that bad rash of them, I had been sitting in front of my laptop one evening, it was warm, I was wearing shorts, I felt something on my leg next to my knee, I thought it was a fly and absentmindedly brushed my leg with my hand, that was the first time (and hopefully last time) I got hit by a scorpion, I have to say, it HURTS!
This one got me on my finger, a more sensitive area to begin with, it felt like fire and electricity at the same time, I jumped up and began stomping, I was determined to get it off of me AND kill it. Oh I almost forgot to mention, I was making a sound that didn’t sound human at all. I did stomp that one to death, and that began my mission, normally I am a live and let live kind of person, I will catch and release spiders, I don’t have a problem with snakes, lizards and even have a bit of a truce with the rodent population as long as they stay outside and don’t do too much damage. But the scorpions had to go, not all of them, but the ones within a 10-15 foot radius of the sky castle.
For those of you who haven’t had the “pleasure” of getting stung by a scorpion, it feels very much like a yellow jacket wasp sting, it’s very painful, not the worst pain I’ve ever felt, but one I don’t relish having again. The big difference between a scorpion sting and a wasp or bee sting is the pain doesn’t last for days, it’s very intense for about 20-30 minutes, diminishing as time ticks by, within an hour, you don’t feel much at the sting site, the next day I looked at it under a 15X loop, I could see a hole where I was stung, but there was very little swelling and it didn’t bother me at all after that. I suspect if a person was allergic to scorpion venom, that would be a very different story. Oh I just remembered something, while my finger was still on fire, I remembered something my dad told me, I poured bluing on that finger, it didn’t help, I had a blue finger that was on fire.
Shortly after that I purchased a LED blacklight/UV flashlight, the scorpions glow bright green under UV light, they don’t seem to see the UV light at all, a good UV light doesn’t put out much visible light, but if it hits something that is UV reactive, that’s when you will see the power of the UV light. This flashlight has 51 LEDs in the 395 nanometer wavelength, it works great for scorpion hunting and lots of other things too.
A few days ago, PB went outside in the late evening, it was still light enough to see fairly easily, he called me outside and told me to walk down the steps, close to the steps was a black scorpion, all of the ones I’ve previously encountered (and killed) out here are a brown color, almost honey colored, this is the first black one I’ve seen. It was just standing there in the dirt with its claws in the air. We captured it in a glass jar and are keeping it in the bedroom. I know, strange behavior for someone bent on killing the local population… the idea is that PB’s young grandsons are coming out for a visit, when they came out last year, they kept falling asleep too early to go scorpion hunting, so this year we will have one on hand for them to see and feed. We have been catching crickets and putting them in the jar, by the next morning the cricket is gone so the scorpion is being well fed.
After the boys leave, we will most likely let the scorpion go, far far from the sky castle. I just don’t have the heart to kill such an interesting creature, especially after keeping it as a (sort of) pet. Now if it comes back into the yard or gets into the sky castle, then all bets are off and I will extinguish its life with my boot!
This is the UV light I purchased, it has 51 LEDs, it uses 3 AA batteries, to change the batteries, be sure you remove the cap on the BOTTOM of the flashlight, do NOT remove the top, head, the UV side, it can be removed BUT you will break the flashlight if you remove the head end.
It works great, I’ve had mine since June 2011, the batteries last a long time since it’s LED based, it puts out a LOT of UV light and just enough visible light to not have to use a separate flashlight while walking around in rough country. It also lights up pet urine and other biological fluids that fluoresce under UV light.
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