One of the nice things about travel – although sometimes frustrating – is that you should always expect the unexpected.
This was the case during our first visit to Croatia where we had a completely WTF moment when we found a little bug in a room… one we didn’t expect to see.
Yes, as the title subtly suggests, we did find a scorpion in our room, during our tour around Croatia as we love Croatian culture and the country as a whole.
In our case, it happened while in Pula – our first stop in Croatia, out of three, so you can imagine how careful we were afterwards.
It wasn’t funny at all – on the contrary. (Although now, looking back and reminding how everything happened, the whole thing does seem a bit funny).
Here’s the “monster” scorpion we had in our room in Croatia (photos taken with an old phone… hence the low quality):
So… how did we end up with a scorpion in our room?
As I said, we had just arrived in Croatia and we were exploring our charming AirBnb in Pula, when I decided to move the sofa next to one of the beds, to make sure that our son doesn’t fall off the bed during the night (he does have this habit).
When I moved the couch, I saw this little bug-like thing there. It wasn’t even moving, so I initially thought it was dead.
“It’s a scorpion,” I joked when my wife asked me what’s that strange bug – I had only seen scorpions before in cartoons and movies (OK, maybe museums too), but I was sure there can’t be a scorpion in our room in Croatia, hiding under the bed.
But I had to investigate and find what kind of bug we were dealing with. Imagine my complete surprise when I saw that it was actually a real scorpion.
It’s true, it was maybe a bit larger than a regular cockroach, but a scorpion nevertheless. You can check out the “beast” below, after being put out of its misery by my boot:
We later found out that they’re actually a protected species in the country and that I should’ve spared his life. This was the last thing I was considering back then, and my boot seemed like the best approach. Sorry, little fellow!
But, apparently, scorpions in Croatia are not as uncommon as you might think (or as I did). Who knew?
Are scorpions in Croatia dangerous?
Next day, we met our nice host in the common yard and told her about the scorpion and she didn’t seem worried at all.
It was actually funny when we told her about this: she spoke minimal English (and we spoke no Croatian), but she made a gesture with her hand like “eh, that’s not a big deal”.
She did understand, however, that the Croatian scorpion had stung our son, so she brought some pesticide of sorts that we were instructed to just scatter around the room. Not a big deal!
I did a bit of research afterwards and apparently scorpions in Croatia are not that uncommon – on the contrary! They are also not dangerous – as in they are not lethal. But if they sting you, it will be very, very painful.
Despite all this, I have to admit that I didn’t sleep well in that house afterwards, dreaming about armies of scorpions crawling under the door into my bed looking for revenge for their fallen comrade…
It didn’t happen though and that was the only scorpion we’ve ever seen in Croatia. Hopefully it will be an experience that we’ll never repeat, no matter where we go next.
We were staying in this beautiful house that had an amazingly beautiful garden with lots of plants – apparently that’s heaven for the scorpions who like both vegetation and humidity.
(Make sure to check out Croatia Wise to read about my experiences in Croatia if you want to get ALL the details)
We were just unlucky to have one enter the room, but fortunate enough to find it before it got the chance to crawl into our shoes or any of us step on it over the night.
Even though it doesn’t kill you, a scorpion bite is not something you want to have as a memory anywhere in the world.
But at least you know what to expect – and if you’re not staying at the upper floors (as we fortunately did in the other cities we visited), make sure to check under the bed for scorpions. Better be safe than sorry!