University of Arizona entomologist Justin Schmidt loves pain. Well, maybe not actually, but he has intentionally subjected himself to 150 different insect stings over the years. Schimidt did this all of course in the name of science.
The result of his research is the Schmidt pain index, which measures pain on a scale of 1 to 4. It was first published in 1984 and most recently updated in 1990. The scale includes a guide with specific examples of insert species, how much their bites hurt, and descriptions of the pain you’ll experience.
Warning: This list cannot be unseen.
Sweat bee: 1.0 pain level.
“Light, ephemeral, almost fruity. A tiny spark has singed a single hair on your arm.”
Fire ant : 1.2 pain level.
“Sharp, sudden, mildly alarming. Like walking across a shag carpet & reaching for the light switch.”
Bullhorn acacia ant: 1.8 on the pain scale.
“A rare, piercing, elevated sort of pain. Someone has fired a staple into your cheek.”
Yellowjacket: 2.0 on the pain scale.
“Hot and smoky, almost irreverent. Imagine WC Fields extinguishing a cigar on your tongue.”
Honey bee: 2.0 on the pain scale.
“The sensation is like a match head that flips off and burns on your skin.”
Bald-faced hornet: 2.0 on the pain scale.
“Rich, hearty, slightly crunchy. Similar to getting your hand mashed in a revolving door.”
Red harvester ant: 3.0 on the pain scale.
“Bold and unrelenting. Somebody is using a drill to excavate your ingrown toenail.”
Paper wasp: 3.0 on the pain scale.
“Caustic & burning. Distinctly bitter aftertaste. Like spilling a beaker of Hydrochloric acid on a paper cut.”
Tarantula Hawk: 4.0 on the pain scale.
“Blinding, fierce, shockingly electric. A running hair drier has been dropped into your bubble bath (if you get stung by one you might as well lie down and scream).”
Bullet ant : 4.0+ on the pain scale.
“Pure, intense, brilliant pain. Like walking over flaming charcoal with a 3-inch nail in your heel.”
Well I never really wanted to go back outside anyway. Share these horrifying insects with your friends on Facebook by clicking below.