Pain Scale for Top 5 Insect Bites

October 25, 2016

Most of us have been stung or bitten by an insect at least once in our lives. Usually the pain is quickly followed by the intense desire to never let it happen again! Needless to say, some stings are worse than others and thanks to American entomologist Justin Schmidt, we now have a helpful pain scale to classify these stings.

#5. Honey Bee - Pain Scale Rating: 2.0 - Surprising to most the simple honey bee rates #5 on the list, coming in with a more painful sting than both the fire ant and the yellow jacket. Lucky for you a honey bee will not attack unless directly threatened or if their hive is threatened. Their desire to survive is responsible for this delay as they are unable to remove their barbed stinger without dying in the process. The sting has been described a hot match burning the skin. Once detached from the bee, the stinger can move deeper into the skin on its own.

#4. Harvester Ant - Pain Scale Rating: 3.0 - A suitable candidate for ant farms, the red harvester ant is actually a reluctant attacker. However that doesn't mean you should set up a colony in your home as their very painful sting comes in at a 3.0.

#3. Paper Wasp - Pain Scale Rating: 3.0 - This is actually an entire category of insects covering more than 200 wasp species. What they have in common is the general style of their nests and their painful stings which have been described as "hydrochloric acid poured into a paper cut."

#2. Tarantula Hawk - Pain Scale Rating: 4.0 - Found mostly in desert environments, this fierce predatory wasp preys on tarantulas by taunting them out of their burrows and striking at their underbellies once exposed. Their sting instantly paralyzes the spider, allowing the wasp to drag it back into the burrow and lay an egg on top of it, making the tarantula a future meal for the offspring. To a human the sting is incredibly painful and "shockingly electric," sometimes causing temporary paralysis around the sting site.

#1. Bullet Ant - Pain Scale Rating: 4.0+ - The bullet ant quite possibly has the most notorious sting in the animal kingdom. This is where the ant's name comes from as people have described it akin to being shot with a bullet. Schmidt describes the pain as "pure and intense, like walking on burning charcoal while having 3-inch nails under your heel."

If you have a infestation of biting or stinging pests, call the Pros at Safari Termite & Pest Control. Everything has to live somewhere but annoying or dangerous pests don't have to live at your house.