Bugs and Creepy Crawlers

I love the large variety of interesting and beautiful insects and critters in Panama. I try to keep a camera nearby just in case.

I spend a lot of time outside on the terrace, and I am frequently visited by various bugs.

This little beauty was on the wall in the kitchen as I was washing dishes

And now for the creepy crawlers! Joel has some sheets of plywood behind the house and we know the scorpions like to hide out there. Today he found this!

It took me a moment to realize this was a mother scorpion covered with babies!

It took me a moment to realize this was a mother scorpion covered with babies!

 

We don’t mind a scorpion or two in the plywood. We know they will probably be there and we know to watch out for them. This though? No, we don’t need a hundred babies growing up back there. Joel got his picker upper thing on a stick, I got a bucket, and he tossed the scorpions in the bucket for relocation in the woods.

When she hit the bucket though, many of the babies fell off. Here she is at the bottom of the bucket collecting some of the babies back.

When she hit the bucket though, many of the babies fell off. Here she is at the bottom of the bucket collecting some of the babies back.

If that isn’t enough scorpions, I also got a short video of her picking up babies on her pinchers so they can crawl back up on her back.

I took the bucket to the woods and let them all go. I know scorpions aren’t the most popular things but I can’t bring myself to kill something unless it’s really necessary. Hopefully they can carry on their lives out in the woods and they won’t find their way back to our place.

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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.
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20 Responses to Bugs and Creepy Crawlers

  1. Robert&Helen says:

    There is a lot of wild life around here. We love it. Yes it is a small country with only 4 million people. The size of The Netherlands and Belgium with approx. 27 million. About your last post of miserable homeless people in the USA, there are far less in the European Union living on the streets.

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  2. Robert&Helen says:

    Yes o.k. with scorpions, but not with centipedes. Plenty in the Caribbean where we lived

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    • My neighbors have assured me that the centipedes here are not a problem. Is there something I should know, or does the Caribbean have other kinds of centipedes? I have heard some of them can give bad bites which is why I asked around about ours.

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  3. Congratulations on saving the baby scorpions. Your video was so cool watching mama scorpion herd her babies onto her back.

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    • Wasn’t that something! I did have a baby scorpion walk across my table one day and I was so startled I didn’t realize exactly what it was until it was already gone. But, other than that I never saw a baby scorpion nor did I even know how all that baby business even works with them.

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  4. Sunni Morris says:

    Wow! Now that scorpion was something! We have them here in the desert and some babies a bit bigger than yours got into the house a few years ago. Of course the cats got interested so I got them out before anyone got stung. I looked for more scorpions for a few months after but never found any. I guess the little ones in the house got separated from mom somehow. Thanks for posting that video. I didn’t know they carried the youngsters on their backs.

    Sunni

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    • I didn’t know anything about scorpions and babies either, so I was very surprised to see the mom with all those babies! There is always something new and interesting around here.

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  5. jim and nena says:

    Hola Kris,
    I think the statue of limitations has probably run out so I can tell you that if you are climbing trees to harvest cocos to sell, be careful of scorpions. Me and a couple of friends “borrowed” some climbing hooks from our signal unit, like telephone linemen use to climb poles, and made some extra drinking money while I was stationed in the canal zone. It was a friend’s turn in the tree and while hacking down a bunch, he managed to get a scorpion under his shirt. He got stung a couple of times before he could get down and we ran him to the medical hobby shop (hospital) on base. They gave him some pills and a shot of something but he did have some fever and pain for the rest of the day.

    They sometimes like to snuggle inside your boots or shoes so give them a knock before putting a foot in there.

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    • Oooh, your poor friend! A couple of our friends here have been stung and said it’s like a bee sting. Don’t worry, I always shake out clothes and knock shoes and boots. There are grasshoppers, beetles, and lots of things that can surprise you and I don’t want anything sharing my clothes and shoes.

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    • jim and nena says:

      One other item of wildlife that loves to snuggle in boots is red crabs during their migration but if you are not on the coast, no problem. Our island on the causeway was swamped with them and anything laying on the floor was fair game. Nothing compares to stumbling home drunk at 2 AM, and slipping on wall-to-wall crabs in your billet.

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  6. HI Kris – love the post, and the photos. Love even more that you don’t like to kill anything (a lady after my own heart, as the saying goes): relocation of the undesirable critter is key!

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    • I will confess to killing many ants… but the night they thought they could overrun the bed was their downfall.

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      • Agreed on ants – oddly enough I have little compunction against dispatching them with a aqueeze of a finger or thumb. And ants in the bed? Definitely not to be endured! Endured a similar experience in Mumbai India once when I woke up to discover an entire colony of ants had set up house in the mattress and were busily moving their eggs around. Needless to say, I beat a hast retreat.

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        • Ewwww!
          Mine woke me up. I wondered what was stinging and itching me and turned on the light to find them crawling though the electric outlet and up to the bed which was touching the wall. I declared war!

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          • Argh! Speaking of ants, my grandpa had a very effective method of keeping them off furniture (mostly the ‘meat safe’ – we didn’t have a fridge) – he’d put a tin can under each leg of the furniture in question and fill the cans with kerosene. Did the same for his homemade hummingbird feeder hanging outside the kitchen doorway – wrapped cotton waste soaked in kerosene around the wire that the bowl of sugar water hung from. Kept the ants away.

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            • Did the house smell like kerosene? (does it have a smell?) I have decided that they aren’t allowed in the house at all, so if I spot a trail of them heading into the house they are in trouble. It took some vigilance, still does but the house is happily ant free. I’m glad to have an ant free kitchen too.

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              • No not that we noticed – the house did not smell like kerosene, but then all out windows and doors were open all the time, and come to think of it, not every single piece of furniture stood in little cans of kerosene. (Yes it does have a distinct smell).
                I’ve read (but not tried, since I don’t have an ant problem here) that drawing a line of chalk on the ground across a doorway (one whatever entrance they use) will keep ants from crossing over the threshold. Interesting. Perhaps there’s some correlation between that theory and the custom of laying out chalk decorations at the front door of many houses in India.

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