When The Weather Gets Warm, Out Come The Creepies

By
Real Estate Agent with Las Cruces Homes and Land

I've spent the majority of my life in the Southwest - growing up in El Paso, Texas and most of my adult life in Las Cruces, NM as well as Tucson. When you live here, you get used to one thing when it starts getting warming: desert creepies that will surprise you when you least expect it.

(I will refrain from posting photos!)

 Scorpions, tarantulas, centipedes, rattle snakes and more are starting to come out of their winter slumbers. This year, it's gotten warmer a lot earlier which has already led to snake warnings for folks who love to hike in our Catalina and Organ Mountains.  One friend posted a photo on Facebook which showed a very unwelcomed guest in her bathroom sink.

The best advice I can offer for you new Southwest residents is the following:

*Hire a pest control company to treat your home as soon as it starts warming up. Ask them about 'critter-proofing' your home inside and out.

*Creatures like scorpions like to hide so, if you are into gardening, make sure you shake out your gloves, shoes, hats and whatever else you use. TIP: Store your gloves and so on in ziplock plastic bags when not in use.

*When hiking, biking, playing golf - watch where you step. When I learned to play golf many years ago, it was at Santa Teresa County Club which was surrounded by desert. We were told repeatedly that, if your ball goes into the desert, just leave it there.

*Spiders like to hide as well - especially black widows. Keep a bug/spider killer handy as well as a broom. ALWAYS check your children's playsets before letting them on them. The same goes for when you take them to parks or play areas at fast food restaurants. It doesn't matter if the latter is inside or out.

*You know how curious pets can be so it's especially important to keep them on a short leash when hiking.
**Side-tip for pet parents: Teach your pets important commands like "Leave It" and "COME". My girl Belle was taught those commands and it truly did save her life. Twice.

*Do some research online about the different critters. The Tucson Newcomers Guide has some good information. You can also find information at the Tucson Wildlife Center and the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.

Above all else - just be careful. Teach your kids about being safe, too. The standard rule always applies here: If you don't bug them, they won't bug you.

Comments (27)

Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

I promise not to complain about mosquitos in Oklahoma. We have it easy!

Feb 25, 2014 11:23 AM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

You know, I got bitten on the hand by a spider years ago and have thought that shaking out was just not good enough - that I needed to keep my gloves in a plastic wrapper but, I thought it may be a little overkill!  Glad to hear you recommend it, Emmy! 

Feb 25, 2014 11:34 AM
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

A good reminder to be careful as the critter reappear.  Please send NH some sun without all the critters.  We are going back into the polar vortex  BRRRRRRRRR

Feb 25, 2014 11:42 AM
Cathy Wolters
Wolters Realty & Property Management Company - Cocoa, FL
Your Brevard County Property Management Expert

Wow I thought we had it bad with palmetto bugs and lizards. Your creepies would creep me out. 

Feb 25, 2014 12:26 PM
Jack O'Neal
HomeSmart Elite Group - Gilbert, AZ

Emmary, being an agent in Phoenix, I know of all these things to be aware of!  And it does seem to be getting warmer already!  I always try to remember to shake out gloves and hats for gardening but I did not think to keep them in a ziploc bag!  Great tip!  Thanks!

Feb 25, 2014 12:51 PM
Cindy Graesser
Keller Williams - Temecula, CA
CG Premier Realty Group. "We'll Get you Moving!"

ok...not sure i can sleep tonight. geeeees

Feb 25, 2014 01:01 PM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

We have a short summer - and may not see many of these many creatures for long! (In fact, we still have single digit temperatures for rest of the week!)

Feb 25, 2014 01:20 PM
Tom White
Franklin Homes Realty LLC (615) 495-0752 or www.FranklinHomesRealty.com - Franklin, TN
Franklin Homes Realty LLC, Franklin TN

Emmary, we visited the Tucson area a few years ago and rented a home for a couple of weeks.  We were surprised to find some of your creepies (scorpions) in the house. Yikes!

Feb 25, 2014 01:27 PM
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Emmy, You're giving me flashbacks to growing up in west central Louisiana.  We didn't have desert, but we had plenty of poisonous snakes, and the occasional tarantula and scorpion too!  Bill

Feb 25, 2014 07:00 PM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker, eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

It's amazing how different different parts of the country are.  Keeping gloves in plastic bags, letting the golf ball stay in the desert, etc.  Those are great tips, especially for visitors to your area who might not be familiar with the creepies.

Feb 25, 2014 07:57 PM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

All the baby "creepies" are getting lectured on sprays, brooms and crazy humans about and to be on the look-out for Real Estate agents too

Feb 25, 2014 10:10 PM
Loreena and Michael Yeo
3:16 team REALTY ~ Locally-owned Prosper TX Real Estate Co. - Prosper, TX
Real Estate Agents

Weather DOES do weird things to people!!!!! So glad to see this featured. (Big smile).

Feb 25, 2014 10:18 PM
Tina Parker
Keller Williams Select Realty - Bedford, NS
CNE, REDM, SRES, CSP Home Staging REALTOR, Halifax

What an eye opener for me.  Living in Nova Scotia, Canada, we don't have any "creepies".  I have a sense of security I wasn't aware I had.  Thanks for the awareness should I make it down your way.

Feb 25, 2014 10:20 PM
Stefan Winter
Real Estate in IL & NV | Owner of Real Estate Web Tech | Daily Vlogger - Las Vegas, NV
Owner - Winter Group & Real Estate Web Tech

Having spent 4 years of my life living in Las Vegas, the creepies do come out and love to hide. Back in Ohio now and I don't think we have anything to dangerous around thank god.

Feb 25, 2014 11:31 PM
Jennifer Salems
North Shore Realty Team, Inc. - Arlington Heights, IL

Thank you for an interesting article.  At least now I know the benefit of our negative two temperatures this morning in the Chicago area and 20 below wind chills..no creepies. It is to cold outside for anyone.

Feb 26, 2014 12:15 AM
Pamela Seley
West Coast Realty Division - Murrieta, CA
Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA

Black widow season is coming up for us. They like to hang out near fencing and in garages. If they are allowed to over-run they'll start coming in the house. Unfortunately, vigilant monthly spraying is the only way to get rid of these creepies whose bites can be fatal to small children and pets. 

Feb 26, 2014 12:58 AM
David Johnson
Team Real Estate Sprigfield - Springfield, MO
Let My Family Help Your Family

Great info!  No pics of the creepy crawlers?  haha.  We have all of those creatures in Missouri except the rattlesnake so I will pass along this info to clients.  Thanks for sharing.

Feb 26, 2014 01:27 AM
Stacey Williams
Alpharetta, GA
Experienced Metro Atlanta Real Estate Agent

Thanks for the reminder. Here in Georgia, I noticed a creepie I thought I left in Las Vegas. Scorpions, I found a dead one in my garage. I will be creepie proofing a little better. Thanks for the suggestion of using a zip lock bag to store my gardening gloves.

Feb 26, 2014 02:03 AM
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

This is a good reminder no matter where people live.  Dallas has it's own share of undesirable critters.

Feb 26, 2014 03:31 AM
Jeff Jensen
The Federal Savings Bank/Lending in 50 states - Greenwich, CT

The creepies have had a long rest this winter.  They may be especially active.

Feb 26, 2014 07:03 AM