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?
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 of 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.
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.
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