Recently there have been some scorpions entering the house and I’d like to know what tricks are for handling and releasing them. I don’t think they are of medical importance (in Mexico City, btw) but I don’t dare to be close to one, not to mention touch directly… Thank you in advance.
I dont know much about handling scorpions or repelling them, but it looks like the scorpions in mexico are not as venomous as the one in other parts of the world, but can still give you a nasty sting. They are unlikely to kill you though. Still, be careful…
When I used to live in Mexico-City, we had “Alacranes” (Vaejovis mexicanus) several times in the house. This kind of Alacranes is not very venomous. They hid behind the door and behind/under the furniture. So we checked them regularly. Unfortunately, I didn’t catch an Alacran alive as we had two cats that loved to eat them. The cats managed to rip off the head and the tail and ate the middle part.
We cover the scorpion (or really any arthropod) with a clear jar (we use a collection jar but anything would do), slide a thick piece of paper (we use a laminated spider/insect guide) under it to seal the container, flip the container over holding the paper in place and then put on a cover and/or release outside.
When I sometimes see them I usually just get scared and leave it be hoping it will find its way out the way it comes in. One thing that I dont recommend doing is trying to catch it because it could feel threatened and try stinging you. Also maybe you should try looking up the scorpion you think you saw or did see so that you can know if you should feel scared of it or not
I do the same with just about any crawlie I do not want in the house. There usually a cup nearby and a piece of cardboard. After catching it, I take it out to the bushes to release it,. Sometimes, I can catch a flying insect, but that’s much more difficult.
Thank you all for your suggestions. And a second issue comes into my mind: would it work to place some box near the scorpion to lure it inside? as an alternative to “catching” it. I’m considering that going after the scorpion with a box or tweezers could trigger a flight response from me So, instead, I could place something and move away waiting?
Well, scorpions like to hide in dark and damp places. Im thinking you could place a big jar with a small entrance hole (maybe a bottle or something like that) around the place you find the most scorpions and then cover it with something. That way when you check on it any scorpion that has made their way inside will have a hard time escaping unless you flip the bottle (which you can do once you’re outside to release them).
Personally I would avoid using sticky traps, as those can catch pretty much any small animal regardless of the target species and cause a lot of suffering to the little critter that gets stuck there. In fact I remember seeing an observation of a sticky trap with three different types of animals in a single corner of the trap (I think they where a gecko, a wolf spider and a huge mosquito, all glued up next to each other). If you’re going to use traps to get rid of any type of pest I would advice either a catch and release type of trap (like the havahart pressure plate traps) or an ethical quick kill trap, depending on whether or not you want to release the animal back into the wild.
While I don’t want to direct people away from the forum, Mexican arachnologist Diego Barrales does great pro-arachnid outreach and answers questions on Twitter. He’s also @d_b on iNat and I interviewed him a few years ago. (See videos here and here)
Frankly, I’d be worried about them scuttling off to hide in my shoes or somewhere else I’d rather not find them instead of the trap. If you’ve spotted it and know where it is, you’ll have more peace of mind if you just deal with it then and there, rather than waiting for them to walk into a trap on their own. A broom and a shoebox will work just fine if you don’t want to get too close. It sounds like you have a pretty bad case of arachnophobia, so if you use one with a lid, you won’t even have to look at it.
I would imagine they taste similar to (land)shrimp:-) That doesn’t sound half bad, but of course scorpions are beneficial, too - good at debugging the place. Sometimes the issue is just more complicated than it seems. Sometimes it’s a choice between which is worse. Or all of the above. I’ve only been stung once and recently. Hurt badly for a while, but I still caught the offender and liberated him in friendly territory.