Scorpions, Scorpio, must be some connection
We have heard a lot about the snakes and scorpions in this area. Oh, and the fire ants. Jokingly, people say that the rattlesnakes keep down the scorpions. At some point, it occurs to me that we have often made much of Ms. Thornton's being a Scorpio. ("Made much" = jewelry designs and such, not astrological crapola.) Soooooo, Scorpio. Scorpions. Yes, pretty lame, but it does seem like fate. Just like the serendipity of my starting work at a new computer company on a date like 01/10/00. Seemed too good to pass up at the time.
There are lots of scorpions in this area, but not a lot of snakes. The local rumor, possibly for the benefit of newbies like us, is that the fire ants drove out all the snakes. Which one would you rather have? B drove A away, so B must be worse, right? So, if the rattlesnakes keep down the scorpions, but the fire ants drove out the rattlesnakes, it is no wonder that we are somewhat overrun by scorpions. And fire ants.
The scorpions are mostly a pest in new housing developments. The sprawl of the city has extended into areas previously uninhabited by people. The areas were inhabited by wildlife of all sorts, however, including scorpions. We moved into their neighborhood.
Fortunately, the scorpions, as scorpions go, have two flaws. One, they are not all that poisonous. Some scorpions are really deadly; one sting and it's curtains. Most of these baddies live elsewhere, outside the US, except for some in Arizona. Very few people here die from scorpion sting, but that is not true of some other countries in Latin America or the Middle East. I had a friend who was in the British army in Egypt, and they lost a number of men to the local scorpions. But the local variety around Austin is pale, almost white, and has a sting like a yellow jacket or a wasp. Unless you are particularly allergic to that minor venom, no problem. A gentleman here relates that he was stung by one his first month in Austin. Thought he was going to die. Called 911 in a panic. They asked what color the scorpion was. Light brown. No problem, put ice on it.
Two, they fluoresce in UV light, so they are relatively easy to find. Just take your UV flashlight, probably called a "scorpion flashlight" when you bought it at the hardware store, and scan the floors, closets, pantry, garage, trash bins, garden every now and then. I'm told that a golf club is an appropriate weapon.