humor, life


pkwy bridge wmMany of you know that I live in Florida. January is one of the few times of the year I enjoy living here. Except, well, for the bugs that never die.

One Monday evening, my husband and I walked the dog. When we got back, my husband ran to the store, and I went inside.

I walked into the master bath, and thought I saw something out of the corner of my eye hanging off the strands of my shoulder length hair. I didn’t have a chance to register this obscure sighting, when a sharp pain punctured the inside of my left forearm. Owww! wtf?

needleIt felt like an invisible hand stabbed a needle into my arm with all of its might! My skin even pulled upward as if something yanked itself back out of me.

I folded over from the pain, and my face flushed. What the heck was happening? Did I get bit by a poisonous spider or a scorpion? Was I about to die from its venom?

(Yes, I do tend to go to the worse case scenario. Doesn’t everybody? No? Just me? Sigh.)

I paced in the bedroom, writhing in pain. A pea-sized lump formed on my inner forearm. The skin around it turned fuchsia and hot. What should I do?

I know … I’ll call the twenty-four hour nurse-line on my insurance plan.

Photo from wiki commons

After pressing all the recorded prompts, Nicole answered the phone. She asked me a bevvy HitchW-Smith-Allergy-reaction-2-1of questions, like if I looked like Will Smith in the movie Hitch. No, not really, but I told her I didn’t look like him just in case.

After the interview, Nicole came to the conclusion that I was having a natural reaction to whatever bit me. She said to keep an eye on it, but that it would likely be fine. She recommended a few home remedies to help with the pain, which included icing the area.

Whew! She calmed my nerves about dying, but now I worried that there was a venomous insect in my bathroom. Did I mention that I’m a worrier? Anyway, I went back in there and crawled around the floor searching for the evil intruder. Nothing.

When my husband arrived home, I showed him the lump and pinhole wound. Then, I iced the area because the pain was not subsiding.

The ice helped, and later, when it was time for bed, I went back into the same bathroom to brush my teeth. I turned to the vanity for a toothbrush and … What’s this? On the mirror, I spied a crane fly. They are a common insect here that looks like a giant mosquito.

myarm 1I shouted for my husband to come and get it for me. He trapped it in a paper towel. We got a closer look, and it appeared to have a stinger on the end of its long skinny body.

I knew I wouldn’t sleep that night until I figured out if this little bugger could kill me. The internet is a wonderful thing.

Here is what I found. Crane flies do not sting. They don’t even have teeth because they don’t eat, they suck nectar.

Then, what stung me?

Answer: This is an Ichneumon, and it is a wasp, probably from the ophionini tribe … they are among the few ichneumons capable of stinging.
Stinging Ichneumon

Side note: An ichneumon is often mistaken for a crane fly.

Anyone else ever feel the pain of an insect before? Did you think you were going to die? No? Come on!

Crane fly                                                                                                Ichneumon

Crane_fly_halteres (640x480)ichneumon (216x296)


29 thoughts on “Ichneumon”

  1. You are not alone, Lori—I’ve been know to freak out over “mysterious” bites. I hate it when I didn’t even realize something got me until I see some red, itchy bump!

    This may be the one positive outcome of our cold and snowy winter—a lot of bugs won’t survive until spring. 🙂


    1. Thanks for sharing that I’m not alone, JM. Although, I’d prefer we not have to deal with bug bites at all. Stay safe and warm up there.


  2. Send your bugs here! Minnesota will make sure they die a slow and painful death of hypothermia and frostbite!

    Sorry to hear you were stung. It does sound VERY painful.


    1. Ha, I’m the same way. When I worked in an office, my boss said to me, “Lori, you’d take on a 400 pound man but you run away from a little spider.” Thanks for reading about my stinging adventure, Anneli.


  3. Wow that is one scary looking bug! I remember in college (in Texas) getting bit by some flying insect that became momentarily trapped under my eyeglasses. My eye immediately swelled up, was hot and painful. I could barely see out of it and happened to be walking pretty far from home at the time. To my great relief, within a few hours, the symptoms magically disappeared.


  4. I hate bugs so much. The only pain I’ve truly experienced though was from a quick spider bite (and of course the fear that takes over whenever creepy bugs are in my basement or bedroom). Anyway….glad you’re well and not dead!


    1. I know, I hate bugs, especially spiders. When I didn’t know what it was, I was petrified it was a black widow. I’ve seen them in webs on the outside of my house. The bugs here are never-ending. Thanks for coming over and reading, Lauren.


  5. I’m convinced that Nature has it out for me and will eventually kill me. Either by strange bug bites or by causing me to trip and fall off a mountain. During the summer, the frogs almost got me, and I’m not convinced they’ve stopped their campaign. I hope your bite feels better. Sneaky bugs, The Worst!


    1. I can relate, Maggie. I love nature, but I don’t think it loves me. I try to give it distance. Heh. Thanks for commenting. If you need any help with WordPress, let me know.


  6. I never thought I’d be grateful for the heaps of snow and arctic air surrounding me right now, but maybe I am. No large insects with sharp stingers around. Ouch. Sorry it got you!


    1. The bugs just keep on coming here, Carrie. The sting happened a couple of weeks ago. At the time I was scared. Looking back, I think it’s kind of funny how I reacted. But, I hope one of those things never gets near me again. 😛 Thanks for commenting. Stay warm up there.


    1. Yeah, sneaky bug that stung me. It happened a couple of weeks ago. At the time I was scared. Now, I think it’s funny. Thanks for stopping by, Andy.


  7. Wow, I know that Crane fly don’t bite …. it could have been anything I suppose that flies around. Sometimes we are bitten by the most strange insects that we haven’t even notice is out there. I hope you’re feeling a bit better now. Ichneumon – I don’t think we have over here … but I wouldn’t know for sure.


    1. Crazy name for a bug, right? I’m doing fine. The sting happened a couple of weeks ago. At the time I was scared. Now I find it funny.


      1. I would had been scared too … I don’t like bites that I’m not familiar with.
        Have to tell you that yesterday the winter started to arrive .. and it’s snowing gentle on us right now.
        Love it. *smile


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