Tarantulas and Scorpions and Snakes, Oh, My!


Here in New Mexico, we have had way too many triple digit temperature days since last spring. Yesterday our outside thermometer got up in the mid 90s Fahrenheit. But today it’s only supposed to reach the low 60s, yaay!

Since my husband and I bought this house and moved here six months ago, we have been inundated with an unbelievable variety of pests. Right now, we are having a plague of caterpillars. There are literally thousands of caterpillars in our yard at this very moment. Plus we keep finding spiders of every variety, both inside and outside the house, including a red backed jumping spider (which I had never heard of before), several big hairy tarantulas (eek), and I recently found two toxic bark scorpions inside our home. One scorpion was walking on the ceiling of our bedroom and I did not see it until after I had climbed into bed. EEEK! (My dear hubby says that I “screamed like a girl.” ) The other scorpion was lying on the floor in the hallway when I got up before sunrise one morning. Thinking it was one of the dogs’ toys lying there in the shadowy darkness, and being the neat freak that I am, I bent down and picked it up with my bare fingers — only to discover that it was ALIVE! I was too terrified to scream, that time. Thank God it did not sting me, or I would have ended up in the hospital last week.

In our yard we have spotted numerous toads, lizards, road runners, two different varieties of snake… and yet we live in a small city, surrounded by houses and lots of traffic, on just a 1/4 acre lot. There are also ants of every size, shape, and color, all over our yard. I did not even know that there are so many different kinds of ants in the world.

My husband and I don’t like killing things, but we finally got some pesticide because we don’t know what else to do. Bark scorpions can be deadly to small pets, small children, the infirm and the elderly. And all these zillions of creepy crawly caterpillars are killing our big beautiful fruitless mulberry tree, and leaving greenish-black caterpillar poo droppings all over everything. Yuck!

I have never had such terrible problems with pests, not even when I lived out in the country. But, looking on the bright side: it is definitely not boring here. Plus I am getting a lot of exercise, chasing after spiders, flies, moths, caterpillars, and ants. Our two rescue dogs like it here too, especially Baby, our big golden mystery mix dog. She loves chasing toads and lizards, and so far she has caught two snakes!

Luckily, we haven’t seen any poisonous snakes here. Yet…

Photo of bark scorpion by Author Musides, 2008, posted on Wikipedia Commons. Thank you for stopping by and God Bless!

24 thoughts on “Tarantulas and Scorpions and Snakes, Oh, My!

  1. atimetoshare.me September 26, 2018 / 12:16 pm

    Oh my goodness. That sounds awful 😳

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wally Fry September 26, 2018 / 1:38 pm

    When I lived in El Paso, scorpions were always popping up. We found our daughter playing with one in the bathtub once. Well, my wife did LOL. I was in the field at the time.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Linda Lee/@LadyQuixote September 26, 2018 / 5:27 pm

      Yikes. That’s about as bad as my dad coming home from work when I was a toddler and finding me on the front porch, playing with a rattlesnake that was on my lap. California, some time in the 1950s.

      How your little girl didn’t get stung by the scorpion and I wasn’t bit by the rattlesnake — it makes me wonder if guardian angels were involved!

      Liked by 2 people

        • bluebird of bitterness September 30, 2018 / 2:57 pm

          If nothing else makes you believe in guardian angels, parenthood should do the trick. By rights all children should be dead before the age of five.

          Liked by 3 people

          • Linda Lee/@LadyQuixote September 30, 2018 / 9:57 pm

            No kidding. I was such a tomboy, I don’t know how I lived to grow up. When I was six, I climbed up an electrical pole, intending to swing from the wires. Seriously! I can’t even believe I was that goofy! It was one of those old style poles, with metal spikes in the sides for linemen to climb up. This pole was set into the side of a small hill, so I was easily able to reach the bottom spikes and hoist myself up. I got all the way to the top, and I was reaching out with my right hand to grab the wire — when “something” made me slide straight down the pole to the ground. It hurt, so I never dared try it again.

            And the things my three kids did, that I learned about afterward… It is truly miracle they grew up, too.

            Liked by 2 people

  3. The Eclectic Contrarian September 26, 2018 / 6:14 pm

    This reminds me of a time many moons ago when me and a friend would go down to the river at night and fish and goof off. We kept hearing big splashes and noises in the water. We never knew what they were.. but we’d get on inflatable boats and stick our arms down in that water… not a care in the world. Then one night after being out there, we came home and the news was on… they covered a story where alligators had been spotted right where we were! Lol..

    You’d think that would smart us … nope lol!

    Liked by 2 people

        • Linda Lee/@LadyQuixote September 30, 2018 / 10:04 pm

          Lol that’s true!

          Since I wrote this post, I have found even more creepy crawly critters on our property. Two more red-backed jumping spiders, which are non-toxic but have a painful bite. And then… Drum roll, please… I found a black widow spider on our patio a couple of nights ago! I captured it and yes, there was a bright red hourglass shape on her belly, eek!

          But the caterpillars are unbelievable. Zillions of them. I have never seen anything like it. They have completely eaten about half of the leaves on our huge fruitless mulberry tree.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. rubycommenting September 26, 2018 / 7:11 pm

    When I lived in FL there was always lizards running around outside. One day my cat picked one up in her mouth, tasted it, made a face, and rejected it lol.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Preacher Biker September 27, 2018 / 12:45 am

    Another great one

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Anna Waldherr September 30, 2018 / 1:17 pm

    We’ve had such a rainy year here that snakes are leaving their buroughs to find dry ground. While they admittedly terrify me, snakes do serve a useful purpose in controlling rodent populations.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Aura Gael September 30, 2018 / 7:16 pm

    You screamed like a girl. Lol. That made me laugh. But what are you supposed to scream like? A man? haha. Scorpions would have me screaming too. Caterpillars and non poisonous spiders are okay one at a time. But swarms of them are gross. And even one ant, I can’t tolerate after being infested in our the house we used to live in. When I see one, I figure there’s more and I prepare for war.

    Sounds like you have some other pretty cool wildlife though, take some photos. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • Linda Lee/@LadyQuixote September 30, 2018 / 10:38 pm

      Since I posted this just a few days ago, the
      caterpillar population in our yard has grown exponentially, even after spraying. They have now eaten about half of the leaves on our big fruitless mulberry tree. My stepdaughter came to visit today and she could not believe it, she said it looks like something out of a horror movie. I have taken pictures but I haven’t gotten around to transferring them to my computer yet. I’m just a little creeped out by the whole thing

      A couple of nights ago I found a black widow spider on our back patio. She was going after a caterpillar. I caught the spider in a jar and got a picture of the bright red hourglass shape on her belly. Augh!! I am so grateful that none of us have been stung or bitten by anything toxic. Very grateful, too, that most of these critters are in the yard, not in the house. But still, it’s making me a little jumpy!

      Oh, about my husband saying that I screamed like a girl, lol. A few years ago he was trying to free a mouse from a humane trap so he could set it free somewhere far away. My husband is like me, he hates killing anything, even rodents and snakes. But when he went to set this mouse free, the mouse did not understand his good intentions and it bit him. At which point, my 6’2″, 250 lb plus hefty husband, a former U.S. Marine, screamed. And being the mischievous brat that I can sometimes be, I got a big kick out of telling him, and others, that he had screamed “just like a girl.” Because… he really did!

      His scream was understandable, really. Here in New Mexico in recent years, some mice have tested positive for bubonic plaque, among other unpleasant diseases. So, you really don’t want to be bit by one. Luckily, my dear husband did not get the plaque, or anything else. But after that, we gave up on the humane mouse traps.

      So “screaming like a girl” is a thing for us now. Part of putting the fun in Dysfunction. 😀

      Liked by 4 people

      • Aura Gael October 1, 2018 / 2:01 pm

        Ew all those caterpillars. Sorry you’re going through all this. It sounds stressful as you know what.

        I wasn’t talking about pictures of infestation though. I was talking more along the lines of maybe lizards or something.

        Black widow…shudder…Going after a caterpillar though, that might be one way to get rid of them…albeit probably a slow way. Not to mention dangerous for humans and pets.

        I’m also grateful that you have not been bitten by anything toxic.

        Your inside joke is funny. Thanks for explaining. Glad you husband didn’t contract anything serious from the mouse bite.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Linda Lee/@LadyQuixote October 2, 2018 / 12:14 am

          Hi Aura! Wow it’s been a long day. You posted your comment 10 hours ago and I am just now seeing it, because my dear husband almost got arrested for the “crime” of insulting an MD with a god complex, by telling Dr. god that he was wrong about something. Which, indeed, he was wrong. Dr. Ego, I mean, not my husband.

          It’s a long story and I am way too tired to go into it, but the dynamics are similar to the situation you and I were texting about recently, re a certain “professional” who does not consider truth to be an important value.

          All is well now, for the most part, but… long day!!

          Liked by 1 person

          • Aura Gael October 2, 2018 / 1:16 pm

            Ugh, drs. Not a big fan. Sorry that happened. Sounds scary too. What a jerk. Well he’s a lot more than a jerk but I’ll stop there.

            Liked by 1 person

  8. Nyssa The Hobbit October 1, 2018 / 12:45 am

    Dang, sounds worse than when we lived in a house by the lake. Fortunately, it was a rental, so we moved out a year later.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Linda Lee/@LadyQuixote October 1, 2018 / 9:39 am

      Hi Nyssa! I just came in from looking at the horror show that is our front yard, with the big leafy tree now almost completely bare, and the tree, the yard, the sidewalk, the porch, and the sides of our house covered with caterpillars and their droppings. I can’t even think of what to do next. My husband sprayed last week. A lot of dead caterpillars are now lying out there, but a lot are not dead. And it’s been too windy to spray again. Plus we really really hate using toxic chemicals. And I am allergic to so much of that stuff.

      The only good thing about our creepy crawly plague is that it’s helping to take my mind off all the triggering stuff in the news lately. “America’s Dad” being officially declared a violently sexual predator and sentenced to prison finally. And the ongoing Ford – Kavanaugh saga. Big time PTSD triggers.

      Yeah, so, about those caterpillars…

      Liked by 1 person

  9. bluebird of bitterness October 2, 2018 / 12:14 pm

    The closest we ever came to something like this was when my kids were little, and we had an unusually dry summer, which for some reason resulted in a proliferation of box elder beetles. Somehow or other about ten thousand of them got into our house and took over my kids’ bedrooms. My kids refused to sleep in their rooms and spent the summer sleeping on the living room couches. I went to their rooms several times a day with the vacuum cleaner to suck up as many of the beetles as I could, but their numbers never seemed to decrease until after a good hard frost in the fall put an end to them.

    Liked by 2 people

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