My New Shower Buddy

Joel and I were taking a shower the other day. I had my hair all lathered up and my eyes closed to keep the soap out of them, and he tells me “don’t move” in a very serious but quiet voice. “OK, you can dry your eyes and open them, but don’t touch the shower curtain.” So, I dry my eyes and look at the shower curtain, and this is what I see.

414scorpion1

It’s not the greatest picture, but Joel had dashed out for the camera and a bucket while I kept an eye on our friend (who seemed as stunned as we were and remained immobile). I quickly snapped a couple photos before retreating to the other side of the curtain so Joel could knock him into the bucket.

We don’t see scorpions very often but we have had a few in the house. Hopefully, with normal precautions, we won’t find out what a sting feels like.

We actually have very few problems with bugs and critters here. In a year and a half, I have been stung by one little wasp who must have been on a lemon I was picking. I get bitten by ants but that’s my own fault for getting in their way when I’m working in the yard. I have had a few somethings that I believe are chiggers, and I’m trying to think if I have had any mosquito bites.  The bugs here seem very mellow and non aggressive, quite different than Florida or anywhere else I’ve lived in the US. I remember being driven indoors by mosquitoes as soon as the sun got low in the sky, but that doesn’t happen here.

Still though, it pays to be aware of the wildlife. Don’t poke your hands into places you can’t see. Use a tool instead, and wear gloves. Shake out clothes and shoes before you put them on, and don’t let your bedding drag on the floor. Wildlife doesn’t want to see you any more than you want to see it, but anything will defend itself if it can’t flee.

I love bugs and critters. I try to be cautious and sensible but I’m not afraid of them. The scorpions look so strange and exotic though, and they have always been portrayed as something to be feared. I’m still not quite sure how I feel about them. In a way I’m excited to see such an interesting creature, but I’d also be OK if they didn’t visit us in the house.

But, since they are here, maybe the next time I’ll be calmer so I can slow down and get some decent photos. It would also help if I wasn’t wet and soapy.

P.S. This scorpion was tossed over the fence into the woods where hopefully he will finish his days free of human encounters and more time in a bucket.

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About Kris Cunningham

We live in David, Chiriqui Provence, Republic of Panama! This blog is about some of our experiences in our new country.
This entry was posted in insects, Panama, wildlife and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to My New Shower Buddy

  1. Shelbi says:

    Hi,
    Nice picture. You are so brave. Glad to hear that he got to go outside, so many people would have killed it. I am like you and love all living things.

    Shelbi

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  2. hoo-rah for both of you for being so calm about the scorpion! long ago in costa rica, someone asked what it was like to be stung by one, and i said, ‘it’s not a big deal.. hurts like crazy for about an hour and then it’s ok…’ i had been stung about eight or ten times over the years – forgetting to check shoes, or retrieving a shirt or towel outside and forgetting to check…

    well the next time i was popped, i had a severe reaction and needed a shot before i was better! (i moved a rock in the garden, and the scorpion popped me on the finger!)

    i’m now very very careful! seeing your photo reminds me to stay alert!

    z

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    • Oooh, I will learn from you too! I’d rather not have your first hand experience with being stung, and I will also remember to stay alert and cautious. I had a grasshopper in my gardening boot one time, and that was enough to teach me to always check them. I don’t like something moving on my toes.

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      • yes, it’s always good to have little reminders so that we don’t forget.. my worst ‘reminder’ was when i kept feeling something in my running shoe, and i thought it was a rock/pebble.. finally when i couldn’t get it to shake out, i stuck my hand and got what i deserved! it truly was provoked – totally my fault!

        z

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        • Oooh! Joel got something in his shoe once too. Thankfully it was only one of those big beetles, and it had crawled between the lining and the shoe. It hung on tight though and was pretty hard to get out of there. That was creepy enough. Thanks for the reminder to not go after something you can’t see with your bare hands.

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  3. Sunni Morris says:

    Kris,

    We have scorpions here in the desert but they rarely get in the house. We’ve had two in the garage and a baby in the house once. It was so cute. You have to be careful and never put your hands into things you can’t see in. I read scorpions can survive without food and water for eighteen months and can crawl into a sealed box if there’s a crack under the flap. Interesting and good to know.

    Sunni

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    • 18 months?? Wow. I looked them up on Wikipedia and it said they can eat a lot, and they also can survive months of starvation. The mother carries her babies with her for a while, and they are called scorplings.. cute word. They are everywhere, from the coldest to hottest climates and only a few of the thousand + are varieties are deadly to humans. The first one we saw was in a box that had been outside for a while. My husband picked it up to take it to a neighbor, and the scorpion crawled out and up his arm! He flicked it off and the neighbor’s son hit it with a rock, so no one was stung. That scorpion didn’t fare so well though.

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  4. You know….it was not easy for me to push that ‘Like” button!!! Ugggg! but I do so like how you say, ” I would be ok if they didnt visit us in the house”, ha! that’s so you!! I wish I were so kind hearted about those guys, but alas, I rrrrrrrrreally dislike them greatly!! Your scorpion looks pretty big , but it’s hard to tell in the photo. The ones we see on our property are much smaller and now I dont think mine are quite so mean looking! Your’s was really exotic looking! But I agree, not the best shower buddy to keep around!

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    • Joel thinks he was 2 1/2-3 inches, and more than 4 uncoiled. He was a little smaller than the others we have seen. They are so exotic looking! But, this is probably the only critter around here that I’m more interested in removing than photographing. Maybe I’ll get better as I get more used to them, but they will always be removed when i’m done with them!

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  5. Debbie says:

    YIKES! I didn’t push the ‘like’ button. I hate scorpions. My closest encounter was when I got out of the shower and reached for the towel. I always shake everything…and I mean everything. I shook the towel and a huge scorpion flopped to the floor. Ron’s been popped 2 times. He said the pain is bearable, but his tongue went numb for a while. I think having free range chickens helps keep the scorpion population at bay. So glad your hubby was there to rescue you from that evil creature.

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    • Ahh, there’s your other comment. Somehow it ended up in the cue waiting for me to approve it, maybe because it linked to a slightly different blog address? Maybe I will look more kindly on the neighbor’s chickens when they want to visit the yard next door which isn’t fenced, and the rooster wants to announce his presence with loud crowing.

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  6. Geez. I just wrote a reply and it was lost somewhere in cyberspace. Anyway, I can’t click the ‘like’ button for this. You are one lucky woman, thanks to your hubby’s good eye. The closest encounter I’ve had with a scorpion was after I got out of the shower and reached for my towel. I shake everything…I mean everything. I shook the towel and a big ole scorpion flopped to the floor. YIKES! Ron’s been popped 2 times. He said the pain was bearable, but his tongue went numb for a while. I’m afraid I would have an allergic reaction because I’m allergic to bee stings and ant bites. So glad your hubby came to your rescue.

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  7. Gary W. Boyd says:

    I have found 3 in the past week. The last one was the biggest but not as big as the one in the photo. I have seen larger here (CR) like the one that crawled out from under a pile of clothes I was getting ready to wash. The other two were babies. Not much bigger than my thumb nail. Must be some sort of seasonal thing. I have never been stung but what I hear is that it is similar to a bee sting. Unless, of course, you are allergic.

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    • I think I remember someone saying last year that you see them more in the dry season because they are looking for water. Like a bee sting? I can deal with that. I was a beekeeper in the US so I’m very familiar with bee stings. Keep shaking out those clothes though!

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  8. indacampo says:

    It’s the time of year that the scorpions are going to be more more abundant. They are desperate for water, likely the reason that your fella was in the shower. The best thing to do is to check shoes and anything they can crawl into. My friend got stung on the butt when she put on her bathing suit bottom and one climbed into it when she had hung it to dry in her shower. That was painful. I got stung on the finger while gardening but managed to squeeze most of the venom out right away. Now I never forget the gloves. :3

    Great picture!

    Like

    • Yes, that’s what I figured. They could visit the birdbath or the regularly watered plants outside though. The bathing suit story.. yikes! I think this picture works more for the thought and location than the quality 😀

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  9. Emma says:

    dear god. well, the bigger the better when it comes to scorpions. i’ve only seen one while here, in my rental cabin in el valle. lots in AZ though. what a good thing you and joel were saving water and he spotted it for you! LOL.

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  10. dirtdaubber says:

    UNCOOL visitor.

    Like

  11. fegary says:

    Yikes! Been here a year, but thankfully we’ve not had a shower visitor like that! Hope we don’t. Haven’t even seen one outdoors.

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    • I think we’re more likely to see them because we live right next to the woods, and I think as dry season progresses they are more likely to come looking for water. It doesn’t hurt to shake out your clothes and shoes though because you never know if some bug might have wandered in.

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  12. Richard says:

    Thankfully, the Panama winter rains have just begun! You should be safe, now…

    This event reminds me of my mother’s experiences when growing up where she had to deal with both snakes AND scorpions every day. Every child had a rod next to their bed specifically to pull back the covers at night to ensure any snakes that had gone to sleep during the heat of the day were removed…. and then, in the morning to flip the shoes to remove the scorpions that nested overnight.

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    • Wow, that sounds pretty crazy! Thankfully we don’t have to deal with anything on that scale. You’re right, we’ve only seen the scorpions in the dry season. We’ll remain alert just the same though because I don’t enjoy even a harmless bug inside my clothes or shoes.

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