HOUSTON, Texas - It's the stuff an arachnophobist's nightmares are made of, and now one Texas apartment complex is dealing with a creepy crawly conundrum - why would a tenant move out and leave behind nearly 75 scorpions and tarantulas?
Employees at The Winding Trail Apartments in Houston went to inform the tenant he was being evicted.
They made an eerie discovery when they found everything gone, except for 20 containers filled with 59 scorpions and 13 tarantulas, 3 of which were dead.
"This one was just a little creepy, and I do mean creepy like creepy crawlers," Animal Cruelty Investigator Benjamin Kircher told KPRC.
Because arachnids can survive for several weeks without water or food, law enforcement officials aren't sure when the arachnids were abandoned.
Employees of Houston's Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals typically care for abandoned 4-legged animal, but now they're doing the same for the 8-legged kind - in this case, that's 552 legs in all.
Though they're not what you would call affectionate pets, investigators say it appears the unidentified tenant kept the spiders and scorpions as pets, as there was no evidence he was selling them.
Scorpions are known to be able to wedge their bodies into nearly flat surfaces, which means they could easily hide anywhere - behind cabinets, between baseboards and the walls, behind lightswitch faceplates, and so on - a creepy thought for future tenants.
"There is definitely a chance that there are some still crawling around, we don't know," Kircher said. "They can hide, I mean, they can really hide!"
The apartment complex does plan to exterminate before renting out the apartment again.
Neglect of any animal, from horses, to dogs, to even spiders and scorpions, is considered cruelty to animals.
A court hearing is set to determine where the arachnids will end up next, along with the fate of their former owner.