10 Most Painful Insect Stings and Their Schmidt Pain Index

carpenter bee sting

You wouldn’t understand true pain until you have been stung by an insect. The most painful stings are due to the toxins within them, and some of them have the potential to even kill people by shock. Keep in mind that most of these insects rarely sting unless they feel threatened. That said, the severity of their bites differs, and it depends on the type of insect and the person it stung.

In our article, we’ll be discussing the Schmidt Pain Index, which is in the range of 0 to 4. We’ll also learn about what insects have the most painful stings. So, let’s get started!

What is the Schmidt Pain Index?

The Schmidt Pain Index was created in 1973 by an entomologist named Justin O. Schmidt at the Carl Hayden Bee Research Centre in Arizona. He and his team subjected themselves to different levels of pain in order to collect and evaluate the necessary data.

Schmidt wrote a book called ‘The Sting of the Wild’, which ranks different insect stings on a scale from 1 to 4.

Pain Level 1 – The sting level doesn’t cause much of a problem but leaves behind a slightly irritating side effect.

Pain Level 2 – This level of somewhat painful, and Schmidt compares it to a migraine.

Pain Level 3 – This level is a painful sting that can throb for almost 30 minutes and leave behind severe inflammation.

Pain Level 4 – The last level is the most painful sting, causing the most agonizing pain that can last for hours.

Insects With the Most Painful Stings

In this section, we’ll mention the insects with the most painful stings based on the Schmidt pain index. Here is the list of the 10 most painful stings that can psych you in no time:

Some of these insect bites are life-threatening. It will be a smart move to call an expert from Take Care Termites to get rid of these extremely dangerous insects.

1. Paper Wasp

The paper wasps only attack if their nests are disturbed. Nevertheless, their presence in your home can be very dangerous, and it’s advisable to get rid of wasps as soon as possible.

Schmidt Sting Pain Index: 3

Schmidt’s Sting Pain Assessment: “Caustic & burning. Distinctly bitter aftertaste. Like spilling a beaker of hydrochloric acid on a paper cut.”

2. The Eastern Yellow Jacket

These black-and-yellow wasps nest in the ground, and their sting pain can last for up to 10 minutes. The sting can be life-threatening to people suffering from allergies.

Schmidt Sting Pain Index: 2

Schmidt’s Sting Pain Assessment: “Hot and smoky, almost irreverent. Imagine W. C. Fields extinguishing a cigar on your tongue.”

3. Bald-Faced Hornet

These large hornets are nasty and aggressive. They are found throughout the US and other parts of North America. They sting when their nest area is invaded. They also spray venom into the eyes of their victims. The sting pain lasts for almost 5 minutes.

Schmidt Sting Pain Index: 2

Schmidt’s Sting Pain Assessment: “Rich, hearty, slightly crunchy. Similar to getting your hand mashed in a revolving door.”

4. Warrior Wasp

This large paper wasp is incredibly fast and aggressive. They have a potent sting, and they bite when their nests are threatened. The sting produces a sharp shooting pain and swelling that often needs medical attention.

Schmidt Sting Pain Index: 4

Schmidt’s Sting Pain Assessment: “Torture. You are chained in the flow of an active volcano. Why did I start this list?”

6. Giant Bornean Carpenter Bee

Giant Bornean Carpenter Bee is one of the world’s largest bees, but this gentle giant is known to pack a punch when it stings.

Schmidt Sting Pain Index: 2.5

Schmidt’s Sting Pain Assessment: “Electrifying, sharp, and piercing. Next time hire an electrician.”

7. Tarantula Hawk

The tarantula hawk has a two-inch long body. It only stings when provoked. The sting wound can persist for a week, but the pain lasts more than five minutes.

Schmidt Sting Pain Index: 4

Schmidt’s Sting Pain Assessment: “Blinding, fierce, shockingly electric. A running hair dryer has just been dropped into your bubble bath.”

8. Red Harvester Ant

These ants are found in the Southwestern US, in states like Texas and Arizona. These insects are reluctant to sting, but when they do, they are relentless.

Schmidt Sting Pain index: 3

Schmidt’s Sting Pain Assessment: “Bold and unrelenting, like somebody is using a drill to excavate your ingrown toenail.”

9. Bullet Ant

The sting from this South American rainforest critter creates a burning and throbbing pain that lasts from 12 to 24 hours.

Schmidt Sting Pain Index: 4

Schmidt’s Sting Pain Assessment: “Pure, intense, brilliant pain. Like walking over flaming charcoal with a 3-inch nail embedded in your heel.”

10. Trap-Jaw Ant

Trap-jaw ants are found in tropical and sub-tropical regions across the globe. They are active hunters with venomous stings and strong jaws.

Schmidt Sting Pain Index: 2.5

Schmidt’s Sting Pain Assessment: “Instantaneous and excruciating. A rat trap snaps your index fingernail.”

Protect Your Home or Business from Stinging Insects

Trust the experts at Take Care Termites to keep the stinging insects, including common house spiders, away from your home or business. As a trusted pest control provider in Tracy, CA, we implement strategic pest management programs to ensure stinging insects stay away from your property. Schedule an appointment with us today!

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