Monday, May 7, 2012

Wondering About Ants

Today I read an old post of mine about an encounter with a large Australian ant.  It bit or stung me, and that hurt a little bit  I had wondered if it was a bull ant.   Someone in comments said if it had been a bull ant I would have been in agony.

I definitely wasn't in agony.

I thought maybe the commenter was sensitive to pain so I did some googling.  I then became a bit terrified because I kept seeing websites saying that bull ant stings are horrific.

I don't think I knew that.

I imagined bull ants stings were about equal to fire ant bites.  I've been bitten by those.   I was bitten a few days ago.  It hurt, but in a quick and mild way.  There's an OW!  Then it's over.  At least for me.

I was thinking, though, maybe it's another case of mistaken identity. If I wasn't stung by a real bull ant in Australia, maybe I also wasn't bitten by real fire ants in Texas.

Maybe there's another big ant in Australia—one that stings, but it doesn't hurt excessively. And maybe there are biting ants in Texas that aren't fire ants?

Anyway.....

I've been thinking of our encounter with massive amounts of big ants in Australia.  Jack was terrified.  Tim used dishonesty to calm him down, saying their stings/bites were no worse than a mosquito.   I tried to be more honest, saying they'd hurt, but the pain would be over in a few seconds.   Although now I'm thinking maybe my attempt at honesty was a failed one. I've seen people online complaining that the pain can last for quite awhile.  

I'm trying to reassure myself right now, because I'm a bit scared now that I know these bull ants can cause agony.   The thing is, though, we did encounter a lot of ants in Australia (bull ants or not) and we never got stung (knock on wood).  We encounter lots of wasps and ants in Texas and have never had a painful encounter (KNOCK ON WOOD). 

So....

Have you ever been bitten or stung by anything?  Did it hurt as much as you imagined it would?   Less?  More?  

Do you get nervous when you encounter insects that sting or bite?