Why you should ALWAYS wear gloves when gardening in Portugal!


I usually always wear gloves when I’m gardening because of all the little beasties lurking in the soil or on the leaves of my plants.

Guess what?

On this occasion I got sloppy and I put my naked hands into my strawberry bed to do some weeding. I saw something lurking among the dead leaves and initially thought to myself “Mr. Grasshopper’s turned a funny colour” Hang on…rewind that thought process Piglet, grasshoppers are not that colour! I quickly withdrew my hands. Lucky for me I did because this particular little beastie was a scorpion.

I ran squealing like a speared piglet into the house to take cover and hide behind Mr. Piglet. When we returned the Scorpion was making its getaway. Guess who I persuaded to take the photographs as my hands were still shaking?


60 thoughts on “Why you should ALWAYS wear gloves when gardening in Portugal!

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  1. I am terrified of scorpions so would also have run, screamed etc. We get them at our holiday home too, found one under the bathroom mat one day when cleaning – now I never go the loo barefoot in the night!


  2. We;ve encountered a few of these whilst gardening in the Algarve, It was a while ago so I’d forgotten that they may be others lurking around – thanks for the reminder! Had one under our barbecue and others in the flowers beds. Scary! (like the centipedes, ugh!) Cath


  3. In Portugal most people call them Lacrau, apparently the species is Buthus occitanus and is the only scorpion in Portugal. It is distributed throughout the national territory, from Tras-os-Montes to the Algarve, and are often in arid areas with exposed rocks in the sun. It’s not very dangerous. After the bite, the signs on site may be minimal, but the pain is very intense and member forms an edema and is partially paralyzed. The affected limb should be immobilized immediately and should put up a tourniquet near the bite. To control pain it’s suggest to do an application of ice or ethyl chloride at the bite site, or warm compresses soaked in a solution of baking soda, to neutralize the poison.


    1. Geesh Fernanda…thanks! I have a low pain tolerance. We also have black scorpians as well as these. My garden seems to to be home to a large variety of wild life. Thanks for the tip about the baking powder. πŸ™‚


  4. Holy Moly- who would have thought Scorpions lived in Portugal? Not me! I love gardening and have grown accustomed to all sorts of insects and crawly things but SCORPIONS?? Now those scare me!


  5. Growing up in Texas, we sometimes had scorpions in our house. I’ve stepped on my share and I can tell you that it hurts like the dickens. If you’re going to put on gloves, PiP, always shake them out beforehand. Those vicious critters also like to hide inside things like gloves and shoes.


      1. Sheesh: I am certain none of us meant to put you off and we would be most delighted to welcome you on these friendly shores – I DO live semi-rurally and have sighted 5 snakey things in about 18 years: not TOO bad πŸ™‚ !


  6. OK, I read from barb19 that we do have scorpions Down Under: thank God I have not met those ‘friends’! However, gloves are de rigeur in this household ere going to do ‘useful things’ in the garden – remember the time not so long ago I thought to weed a streetfront flowerbed ere the weekend – put my hand out, had good sense to wihdraw; and there was a redbellied black snake [hmm: that means a hospital trip if you manage that far!!] squirming away from me . . . Exit back!!


  7. Oh dear, that was a close call, glad you re-acted so quickly to avoid being stung. We have them here in Oz too, but I’ve never come across one, thank goodness (and I am always in the garden, tending to my vegies, etc.)
    Mr Piglet was your hero, and great that he was able to take a photo of the culprit before it met it’s end!
    Be careful PiP, and always wear your gloves when gardening.


  8. Oh my stars! You all have scorpions. Bless your heart. It’s good thing you were paying attention. I feel silly now complaining about spiders & squash bugs. Yep, I agree with you about Portugal, Definitely put on your gloves, stay alert & safe and continue your beautiful and dangerous gardening.


    1. A Portuguese friend of ours was stung last year and he was in so much pain he cried. I’d seen them in the log pile and once I had one on the ceiling in the lounge when Mr Piglet was away. I had to climb up and get it down. Arrrrgggghhhh


  9. I didn’t know they had scorpions in Portugal. I understand that the smaller and clearer they are the more deadly. I do hope you take care and wear gloves. I haven’t been able to respond much lately but I do read and enjoy your blog. Take care.


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