Billy Shawn was shocked when he spotted it near the wall, next to a pile of clothes waiting to be washed after a recent move from Mexico.

A brownish-yellow, eight-centimetre-long scorpion had made its way to his Park Road home in Toronto.

“I thought, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me,’” Shawn said.

He suspects the skinny-clawed arachnid made the journey after crawling into a suitcase as his family packed to leave.

Shawn’s wife, Nelly, is Mexican and the family had been living in Ixtapa for the past eight years. They moved to Toronto the last week of August so their three children could attend school, likely just for the year.

It is not the first run-in the family has had with a scorpion. Their three-year-old daughter was stung on the thumb about six months ago. Luckily, antivenom is fairly accessible in Mexico and the child made a full recovery, Shawn said.

But he is not so sure he could have saved his daughter this time had the potentially deadly stowaway not been found.

“In Mexico, we keep the antivenom at home,” he said. “I doubt they’d have it here.”

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