INSECT bites and stings can vary in the intensity of pain they cause but luckily for most of us we are unlikely to be stung by the top 10 most painful.
The same can’t be said for insect expert Justin O. Schmidt who created the Pain Scale for Stinging Insects by allowing bugs to sting him so he can rate the agony out of four.
11 Justin O. Schmidt is an insect expert known for being the “King of Sting”Credit: Justin Schmidt
Schmidt may not have been subjected to the tens of thousands of different insect bites in the world but he’s suffered through enough to write the book The Sting of the Wild.
Below are his pick of 10 of the most painful insect stings and bites on the planet, according to Field & Stream and Popular Science.
Western Yellow Jacket Wasp
11 This wasp eats the flesh of animalsCredit: Alamy
This flesh eating wasp bites and stings and was given a two out of four on the Pain Scale for Stinging Insects.
They can be found in North America and eat flies, moths, grasshoppers, cockroaches, cicadas, grubs, bees, spiders, and other Yellow Jacket wasps.
They have also been known to eat flesh from the open wounds of animals and have an intense venom that lasts for two minutes and leaves a small inflamed red mark.
Schmidt described his experience with the wasp as: “Hot and smoky, almost irreverent.”Giant Bornean Carpenter Bee
11 This bee is black and fluffyCredit: Alamy
This is one of the world’s largest bees and has a fluffy black body with purple wings.
The Asia based insect has powerful jaws that can burrow through wood so it can nest in dead tree branches or the walls of your house.
Schmidt gave the sting a 2.5 out of four and described it as: “Electrifying, sharp, and piercing.”Florida Harvester Ant
11 These ants live in North AmericaCredit: Alamy
This insect can be found in sandy open areas in North America.
It has one of the most painful and long lasting stings of the ant world and can leave you with a swelling wound that oozes for hours.
Schmidt gave the sting a three out of four for pain and wrote: “Bold and unrelenting. Somebody is using a power drill to excavate your ingrown toenail.”Maricopa Harvester Ant
11 There are lots of different types of Harvester Ants that fight each other for territoryCredit: Alamy
This ant can also be found in North America and some experts have labelled it as having the most toxic venom in the world.
Some legends state that Mexican outlaws and American Indians would torture and kill their enemies by tying them down next to one of these ant nests.
Schmidt also gave this sting a three out of four and said: “After eight unrelenting hours of drilling into that ingrown toenail, you find the drill is wedged in the toe.”Red Paper Wasp
11 The red paper wasp attacks in a swarmCredit: Alamy
If you upset one of these Central and South American wasps then it will get its friends to chase you too by releasing venom into its paper nest to rally for an attack.
Schmidt gave the pain of its sting a three out of four and wrote: “Caustic and burning, with a distinctly bitter aftertaste. Like spilling a beaker of hydrochloric acid on a paper cut.”Western Honey Bee
11 The western honey bee made the list for its unstoppable desire to steal your sugarCredit: Alamy
This type of bee can be found on every continent apart from Antarctica and most people see it as harmless but Schmidt has increased its rating because the classic bee taste for sugar means you’re more likely to be stung by one.
Schmidt said: “It’s crawled into your soda can and stings you on the tongue. It’s immediate, noisome, visceral, and debilitating. For ten minutes, life is not worth living.”Velvet Ant
11 These ants aren’t as nice as their name soundsCredit: Alamy
The name and soft red fluff of this ant may make it seem cute but it’s far from cuddly and actually has the nickname of ‘cow killer’.
The insects are actually wingless wasps and although their venom isn’t very toxic it can still cause intense agony.
Schmidt gave this creature a three out of four for pain and noted that it was: “Explosive and long-lasting. You sound insane as you scream. Hot oil from the deep fryer spilling over your entire hand.”Bullet Ant
11 Bullet ants can be as painful as their name soundsCredit: Alamy
The name of this ant makes it sound more dangerous and it lives up to this.
Victims of it’s bite have likened it to being shot.
The wound damage is relatively small but the pain is said to be absolute agony that last for hours.
Schmidt awarded the Central and South American ant a four out of four for pain and said: “Pure, intense, brilliant pain. Like walking over flaming charcoal with a 3-inch nail embedded in your heel.”Tarantula Hawk
11 These wasp creatures actually eat tarantulasCredit: Alamy
“Stung by a tarantula hawk? The advice I give is to lie down and scream,” Schmidt observed.
He also gave this creature a four out of four for pain.
The insect paralyses and eats tarantulas but the pain of its bite doesn’t last very long.
Schmidt likened it to: “A running hair dryer has just been dropped into your bubble bath.”
Brave Wilderness is a YouTube channel that showcases lots of different insect stings including that of the Tarantula Hawk.
Guy stings himself with tarantula hawk which has one of Earth’s most painful stings
11 This wasp sting is incredibly painfulCredit: Alamy
Last but definitely not least is this terrifying wasp that will beat its wings in unison with its hive so they sound like troops approaching.
They have massive jaws in comparison to their bodies and their stings give off a sharp, shooting pain with swelling that will probably require medical attention.
Schmidt said: “Torture. You are chained in the flow of an active volcano. Why did I start this list?”
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The box jellyfish is widely regarded to be the most posionous animal in the world and contians a toxin that can cause heart attacks
Cobras, typically found in the jungles of India and China, can spit a venom which can result in death in a very short space of time and just 7ml of their venom is enough to kill 20 humans
The marbled cone snail is a sea creature that can release venom so toxic it can result in vision loss, respiratory failure, muscle paralysis and eventually death and, to make things worse, there is no anti-venom avaliable
Posion dart frogs are small and brightly coloured but have glands containing a toxin that blocks nerve signals to muscles, causing paralysis and death
Puffer fish are considered to be a dangerous delicacy because some of their anatomy contains a hazardous toxin which, if ingested in a large quantity, can cause convulsions, paralysis, cardiac arrhythmia, and ultimately death
The Brazillian wandering spider, also known as the ‘banana spider’, has venom that is so high in serotonin it can paralyse and kill
Death stalker scorpions have a fitting name as enough venom from one can cause a lot of pain and respiratory failure
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Which insect do you think seems the scariest? Let us know in the comments…
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