Scorpions: Costa Rica vs Borneo

When I first moved to Costa Rica, I lived in a scorpion den up in the cliffs. Mornings started with a “scorpion sweep” for anything with a stinger, from the large nasty looking ones to the little baby scorpions, and the whole vibe in the house was that you had to be scared to death of them. In my new neighborhood, sightings are rare, but my phobia has stayed. Although now I know I won’t die on the spot if I get stung.

Pictured above, a darling little baby scorpion baby that was hanging out across the street at Lisa‘s house. The small ones don’t know what they’re doing yet, so if they sting you it actually hurts the worst. If you don’t know how to properly kill one, do not ask me. I claim to have done it once, with a telephone book, but I will finally admit here that it was already dead. (It still took me three days to bravely get the thing out of my house.) Denise has her form down perfectly and will demonstrate if asked.

Here’s a picture that my friend Cynthia sent me of a scorpion found in her friend’s bed in Malaysian Borneo, one of my last trips before I settled down in Costa Rica. Believe it or not, the poor girl didn’t see it before she attempted to snuggle in, and it pinched her. I think I picked the right place to live!

While I do not think I would have survived the heart attack that having those large pinchers come at me in my own BED, I have been warned that those baby scorpions really do hurt the worst, due to their immaturity and not knowing to conserve their poison. So be on the lookout for scorpions of any size!

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I'm a life-long travel junkie journalist who works hard to find adventure in everyday life after two years of travel and expat living.

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Comments

  1. Oh wow! I think I would die if I ever saw a scorpion, seriously!

  2. After I saw one for the first time, I wasn’t fast enough to kill it and couldn’t sleep for a week. I couldn’t stop thinking it crawling into my bed to plan an attack. Their tails are so scary and gross!

  3. I thought that scorpions looked more like spiders… just shows what this city girl knows! That’s scary that the tiny ones can cause so much pain. What’s the remedy if you get stung?

  4. The pincers and lashing tail are really gnarly! Most of them are around two inches long here, but I’ve seen much bigger. No remedy that I’ve heard of! The pain lasts about 20 minutes. I’d take a cockroach over these things any day! Oh, wait, we get those, too…

  5. OMG this gives me the heebee geebies! That last scorpion is absolutely huge…and how do you find those baby ones – they’re so tiny! Good to know that you’re not going to die though…I would have lost a bet on that one!

  6. Camels & Chocolate says:

    Um WOW. Gee thanks for this, Abby, as I just booked our honeymoon flights to…MALAYSIAN BORNEO. Um, yeah. (I used to work in the desert in Arizona and got stung by a scorpion twice, but it was nowhere near as big as that bad boy!) Still, I’d love your tips/advice on Borneo!

  7. So not cool to find one of those creepy buggers in your bed. Those small ones are tiny how can you avoid them when you can’t see them.

    I can now see your fear of scorpions is well justified Abby.

  8. No way!! Kristin! That’s amazing. A unique honeymoon, for sure. Just for you, I won’t post the photos of the six-inch long rhino beetles. ;-) My friend lives there, and visited for about a month. YES, would love to chat, of course.

  9. Believe it or not, the pain is gone in half an hour! I can’t stop thinking about finding that big one in my bed. I am oh so glad that didn’t happen to me while I was there. I can’t even imagine… ICK!

  10. He he what part have you just booked. If you want any advice on what to do or where to go give me a shout. Cynthia

  11. michelle says:

    Just back from Montezuma, Costa Rica. Been there 3 times and it’s never complete without a scorpion encounter. This time, the day we were leaving to come home, a big one was under my suitcase. Big as in at least 4 inches – or maybe the size of a lobster, to my panicking eyes. But, I did catch it by placing a cup over it, sliding a book underneath, and put it way out in the underbrush surrounding our bungalow. Then ran away screaming as it seemed to chase me! Whew. They do look scary. Saw a boa constrictor the night before too.

  12. I went to Costa Rica on a vacation and our house cleaner found a dead baby Scorpion on the floor near the entrance/door.

  13. Patricia says:

    Are you kidding me gal? That looks ugly!!

  14. We just spent 4 weeks in a house in Samara, Costa Rica for one month. In the first week we found 2 baby scorpions in the kitchen sink. We then began to do a scorpion sweep every morning. We found a large one hidden in a crevice in the bathroom the second week, the third week we found a medium size one on the floor in the laundry area. The fourth week, actually the day we were leaving, my husband pulled our suitcase out from underneath the bed and was promptly stung in the foot 30 seconds later by a large scorpion around 5″ long. Our Tico neighbor squeezed lime juice on it, then pinched out the guts of the scorpion and spread those on the sting area, left that for 10 minutes, then cleaned it off and squeezed additional lime juice on it. Other than the sting itself which my husband said felt like electric shock, he had absolutely no further pain, swelling or anything reaction! I basically think he was just lucky!

  15. We just spent 4 weeks in a house in Samara, Costa Rica . In the first week we found 2 baby scorpions in the kitchen sink. We then began to do a scorpion sweep every morning. We found a large one hidden in a crevice in the bathroom the second week, the third week we found a medium size one on the floor in the laundry area. The fourth week, actually the day we were leaving, my husband pulled our suitcase out from underneath the bed and was promptly stung in the foot 30 seconds later by a large scorpion around 5″ long. Our Tico neighbor squeezed lime juice on it, then pinched out the guts of the scorpion and spread those on the sting area, left that for 10 minutes, then cleaned it off and squeezed additional lime juice on it. Other than the sting itself which my husband said felt like electric shock, he had absolutely no further pain, swelling or any reaction! I basically think he was just lucky!

  16. Arrived at my resort in Costa Rica on Sunday, got up to go to the bathroom on Monday night and did not want to disturb my husbands sleep, so just as I would at home, I did not turn on any lights. Ten seconds after sitting on the throne, I felt something scurry across my toes! Hit the light switch pronto and saw a 2 1/2 brown scorpion high tailing it along the edge of the wall. Don’t know who was more scared, him or me! Gathered him up with a bunch of tissures and turned him lose in the gardens on the ground floor! Fortunately, he did not sting or bite, but I’m checking the room before I go to and my feet aren”t gonig on the ground in the dark!

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