Reporting Rachel Slavik
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – At Kelly Sheehan’s home in Edina, there are rarely any run-ins with nature.
But three weeks ago, she noticed a bug — unlike any other in Minnesota — slowly creeping towards her while she sat on her front porch.
“I looked down, and literally, right about a foot-and-a-half from me, was a scorpion,” she said.
This was a problem she decided not to tackle on her own.
“I screamed and ran inside,” she said.
Sheehan’s husband, Dan, realized a newspaper wouldn’t do. So instead he pulled out a shovel. That three-inch insect stood little chance.
“I was a little freaked out,” Dan Sheehan said. “I didn’t know how fast they were or aggressive or what.”
Dan Sheehan said he didn’t hit the scorpion too hard, because he wanted to inspect it afterwards.
But the couple quickly came to a concerning question: Were there more? Dan Sheehan then spent the next two hours online trying to figure out where the scorpion came from.
“It was more than likely a released pet,” Dan Sheehan said. “Or, [it] potentially traveled in mulch or a bush or something like that we planted in the summer.”
What they did not discover was the species of scorpion. It was a question even entomologist Jeff Hahn couldn’t answer quickly. After looking at pictures, he realized he’d need more time to examine the insect; and even then he wasn’t sure he could name the exact species.
“We never see them, or rarely. This would be the third I’ve seen,” said Jeff Hahn, a University of Minnesota entomologist.
Hahn said the odds of more scorpions showing up are unlikely.
“I really doubt there’s a bunch of them growing, reproducing and ready to infest things,” he said.
The couple still has the scorpion to show non-believers; it’s proof of nature getting too close to home.
“Everyone goes whoa, because I don’t think people believe us,” Kelly Sheehan said.
As a rule of thumb: The larger scorpions are, the less poisonous they are. Most are native to southern states.