How much insect stings and bites hurt - scientific measurements
Justin Schmidt rated them for you so you'll know how much sympathy you can beg for -
1.0 Sweat bee: Light, ephemeral, almost fruity. A tiny spark has singed a single hair on your arm. 1.2 Fire ant: Sharp, sudden, mildly alarming. Like walking across a shag carpet & reaching for the light switch. 1.8 Bullhorn acacia ant: A rare, piercing, elevated sort of pain. Someone has fired a staple into your cheek. 2.0 Bald-faced hornet: Rich, hearty, slightly crunchy. Similar to getting your hand mashed in a revolving door. 2.0 Yellowjacket: Hot and smoky, almost irreverent. Imagine WC Fields extinguishing a cigar on your tongue. 2.x Honey bee and European hornet. 3.0 Red harvester ant: Bold and unrelenting. Somebody is using a drill to excavate your ingrown toenail. 3.0 Paper wasp: Caustic & burning. Distinctly bitter aftertaste. Like spilling a beaker of Hydrochloric acid on a paper cut. 4.0 Pepsis wasp: 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). 4.0+ Bullet ant: Pure, intense, brilliant pain. Like walking over flaming charcoal with a 3-inch nail in your heel.
One of the worst stings was from Pogonomyrmex badius (an ant, above) which he “likened to pain that might be caused by someone turning a screw into the flesh’ or “ripping muscles and tendons.” Wow. That is serious dedication to your work. Anything that has ‘badius’ in its name, well i’m steering clear of.
But perhaps the worst sting of all goes to the Pepsis wasp (or Tarantula Hawk, yeah it kills tarantulas. Pictured below.). Rather than light or fruity or shag-carpety, he described the pain as “…immediate, excruciating pain that simply shuts down one’s ability to do anything, except, perhaps, scream. Mental discipline simply does not work in these situations.”
Schmidt ended up rating 78 species of stinging insects. Check out some of his papers here:
Schmidt, J. O. 1986. Chemistry, pharmacology, and chemical ecology of ant venoms, pp.425-508. In T. Piek [Ed.], Venoms of the Hymenoptera.. Academic Press, London
Schmidt, J. O. 1990. Hymenoptera venoms: striving toward the ultimate defense against vertebrates, pp. 387-419. In D. L. Evans and J. O. Schmidt [Eds.], Insect defenses: adaptive mechanisms and strategies of prey and predators. State University of New York Press, Albany.
Schmidt, J. O., M. S. Blum, and W. L. Overal. 1984. Hemolytic activities of stinging insect venoms. Arch. Insect Biochem. Physiol. 1:155-160.
Propagating by stem cuttings is just about the easiest way to make more begonias for next summer's garden. During the fall, I regularly trim off 3-node long cuttings and put them into the growing pots where they take root.
Now that cold weather has arrived, I root the stem cuttings in a vase of water. It's a great way to produce more pots of Begonias for next summer's garden.
Water the plant well the day before.
Take a cutting about 4-inches long, with 3 nodes, from a healthy stem.
Use a perfectly clean container. Rinse the container with a drop of bleach if you are uncertain about its spotlessness.
Remove all but the top leaf or two. There should be no leaves in the water.
The cutting should have a healthy leaf node at the bottom. Don't leave a stub below the node. Place the cutting into the water, and place the container out of the sun. In a couple of weeks, you will see new roots beginning to form.
Check the water periodically to make sure it is still fresh. If it…
Moldy tulip bulbs are a big disappointment when you are hoping to fill a bed or some pots.
It is not that unusual for their skins to have a bit of penicillin mold but these are beyond that tad bit stage.
So, what to do? The plant references say to throw them out and buy new ones but I already spent $22 for 50 of these white tulip beauties.
First, they got a soak in 1% bleach solution in the kitchen sink in the hope that the bleach would stop the mold from continuing to grow without killing the life force in the bulb itself. After a good slosh around, I wiped them off to see how much damage was beneath the blue and black.
This tulip bulb is soft to the touch and there is little chance it will thrive in the soil. This basal root on these have been ruined by mold. The final step I took to try to salvage part of them was to spray them thoroughly with fungicide.
They are all planted in the garden now though some of them will probably not do well. In particular, the ones that the mold tu…
Before you buy boxes, bags and bottles of insect spray, learn more about digger wasps making nests in your yard. The Honey Bee Lab says "In most situations it is best not to eliminate ground-nesting bees and wasps since they are valuable in agricultural production by either pollinating many different plants or serving as useful predators in controlling harmful pests. However, when nests are located in areas such as yards, gardens, flower beds or playgrounds, control may be justified to prevent the chance of being stung." From Iowa State Univ. "At least 3 different species of wasps construct nests in the ground in Iowa. These "digger wasps" include the cicada killer wasp, the largest wasp found in Iowa. Cicada killer wasps may be up to 2 inches long. They are black with yellow markings on the thorax and abdomen and they have rusty colored wings. The great golden digger wasp is slightly smaller. The abdomen is reddish-orange except at the tip which is black. A third…