Entomologist Justin O. Schmidt has written a book called The Sting of the Wild, about his mission to "compare the impacts of stinging insects on humans, mainly using himself as the gauge." Here's how he poetically describes a few bug stings, based on his own 4-point "Schmidt Pain Scale for Stinging Insects."
Red fire ant (1): "Sharp, sudden, mildly alarming. Like walking across a shag carpet and reaching for the light switch."
Anthophorid bee (1): "Almost pleasant, a lover just bit your earlobe a little too hard."
California carpenter bee (2): "Swift, sharp, and decisive. Your fingertip has been slammed by a car door."
Western yellowjacket (2): "Hot and smoky, almost irreverent. Imagine W.C. Fields extinguishing a cigar on your tongue."
Fierce black polybia wasp: (2.5): "A ritual gone wrong, satanic. The gas lamp in the old church explodes in your face when you light it."
Velvet ant (3): "Explosive and long lasting, you sound insane as you scream. Hot oil from the deep frying spilling over your entire hand."
Florida harvester ant (3): "Bold and unrelenting. Somebody is using a power drill to excavate your ingrown toenail."
Tarantula hawk (4): "Blinding, fierce, shockingly electric. A running hair dryer has just been dropped into your bubble bath."
Bullet ant (4): "Pure, intense, brilliant pain. Like walking over a flaming charcoal with a 3-inch nail embedded in your heel."
Warrior (or armadillo) wasp: "Torture. You are chained in the flow of an active volcano. Why did I start this list?"
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