Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Encounters With Texas Wildlife

Okay, so everyone knows there are huge scary bugs in Texas, right? But for some reason we assumed we could avoid them by a) moving into a brand new building b) not living on the first floor and c) being deathly afraid of them and willing them not to enter our apartment. FALSE. So false.

The first encounter happened about a week after I drove down with Ali, when Peter was gone on a work trip, of course. I couldn't sleep, so I got up around 2 am and turned on a light in our bathroom. Two seconds later, something scurried along the baseboard and into the linen closet. Great. I knew enough about cockroaches from our Australian apartment nightmare to know one when I saw it, so I did what any self-respecting person would do: I ran into Ali's room, flipped on the light, and started screaming. Poor Ali assumed a relative had died or something, so she shot out of bed before she even realized I was screaming about a bug. We decided we couldn't sleep knowing it was in our apartment, so we went back to the linen closet and searched. We couldn't find it (of course), so we just Raid-ed the crap out of the closet and then shut the door and I went to Ali's room to sleep, with the kitchen and living room lights on. In the morning, we made our way back to the battle zone and wouldn't you know it...the stupid little thing was dead as a doornail on our bedroom floor. HA! Victory.

Because I am slightly insane, I had already joined an online bug identification service (only $1.99/picture upload people!), but I didn't even need to use it this time to know it was a cockroach. Luckily, it wasn't the little kind (German roach) we had in our apartment in Australia that multiply by the second and are next to impossible to get rid of, thankfully. This was the larger but less likely to infest kind (American roach), that probably wandered in from outside and isn't *hopefully* plotting a takeover of our entire apartment. We called the exterminator, who came and sprayed down our apartment, and he was extremely helpful and patient with us. I'm sure he thought we were completely insane. Anyway, he let us know that the one we found was "tiny" compared to its full-grown size, so to not be alarmed if we see one much bigger than that. Great! Luckily, we haven't seen one since. I know more about the various cockroach species than I ever wanted to, that's for sure.

That bring us to our second, somehow more traumatic encounter. What is more traumatic than a cockroach, you ask? Read on!

Ali got home from work the other day to discover a dead (thank you, exterminator!) scorpion on her bathroom floor. Now, our friend the exterminator assured us it was highly unlikely we would get any scorpions INSIDE our apartment, so we weren't exactly prepared for this one. It was much, much smaller than I imagined, but still pretty terrifying. So, we've requested the exterminator again this Friday and we'll see if he can work his magic. We did notify the leasing office and they seemed to indicate that scorpions weren't a huge issue in our area, and it was a bit unusual we had one in our unit. I think they thought we were just hyper Northerners who had found a large ant or something and freaked out, so they wanted me to send them a photo to confirm that it was indeed a scorpion. I'm convinced these creatures seek us out because they know we are absolutely terrified.

Avert your eyes if you don't want to see a picture of our little friend...

I'm predicting a tarantula sighting next week. SEND HELP!!!


  1. Personally, I would never live in a state that has bugs that are bigger than I am!

    1. Hahaha. My only consolation is that at least these bugs run away from you, instead of attacking you in large packs like mosquitoes. A small silver lining.

  2. Ahhhhhhhh I saw my first scorpion in real life at my in laws house a month ago. I literally almost stepped on in bare foot and I screamed and jumped back about 10 feet. My MIL probably thought I was crazy. Now, I will kill a spider or a roach. I don't like it but I will do it. But I wasn't getting near that nasty thing, we made my FIL come do it. Nope nope nope. Time to burn the place down!

    1. It was pretty terrifying...and we found it dead! I'm not sure how I'd respond if it were alive. Honestly, we didn't even know what it was at first and if I never see one again (probably wishful thinking) I'll be okay :).

  3. Oh no!! This post makes my skin crawl!! I am laughing at the bug identification service though lol, I would totally do the same thing. My SIL lived in Phoenix for a year, and she had more than one scorpion encounter! I think that was part of her rationale for moving back to Philadelphia! :) Good luck and I hope you have a bug-free week!

    1. The bug ID service is literally the best thing I've ever found on the internet! hahaha. I don't blame your SIL...the day I have a LIVE scorpion encounter is probably the day I'll flee back to Minnesota, too ;).



Welcome! I started Laura and Peter Down Under in July 2014 when my husband and I moved from the States to Melbourne, Australia for his job. I blog about expat life, our travels, food, and whatever else comes to mind. Follow along on our adventures Down Under!



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