What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

what just bit me?
Location: south florida
March 27, 2011 8:46 pm
i just put on a shirt and right after i felt something bite me on my shoulder, a few seconds later i felt it again so i took off my shirt and inside i found this little guy. i’ve never seen a bug like this- what is it.
Signature: joe

Lacewing Larva

Hi Joe,
This is the Larva of a Lacewing that looks exactly like this image on BugGuide.  Both adult and larval Lacewings are important predators, consuming vast quantities of Aphids.  Perhaps you picked up this Lacewing Larva in the garden.  We have gotten several reports over the years of people being bitten by Lacewing Larvae, but they are perfectly harmless.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Florida
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8 Responses to Lacewing Larva

  1. erhoades50 says:

    Did the bug bite or sting? I’ve been stung three times usually in the spring or fall. I have an allergic reaction to the sting.

    • bugman says:

      Lacewing Larvae may bite, but they do not sting.

      • erhoades50 says:

        The lacewing larvae have little tiny stingers on their tails. They bow up and bury the little stinger into the skin. Feels like someone is jabbing you with a red hot poker. The sting immediately turns bright red and begins to swell. The spot begins to leak, burn, and ache. It is the worst bug sting I have ever had. Maybe they don’t sting other people, but I can attest to the fact they sting me and it hurts worse than a bee or wasp sting. Even hurts worse than a fire ant sting.

  2. Missy says:

    I believe that they do “sting,” to some degree. I have video of one with its tail stuck into me and the pain just like a bee sting. I’m allergic to them.as I become so swollen at the bite site that after a day, little tears develop & an amber fluid slowly leaks out for days. It’s been confirmed by an entomologist that it is green lacewing larvae. Nasty. They’re all over my yard a certain time of year. I’m in the east San Francisco Bay Area, CA.

  3. erhoades50 says:

    Missy, that is exactly what happens to me. The larva sticks it’s tail in my skin. I get a large red swollen area and have to get medical treatment to make the reaction stop. The spot oozes yellow liquid and usually a small white object comes out with the liquid. When the white object comes out, the place begins to heal. It will not heal until the white object comes out, though.

  4. Missy says:

    Erhoades50 – NOT that I’d wish this pain on anyone but you just completely validated me!! My friends get bitten (is it REALLY a “bite” when it comes from the TAIL??) and they just get a itchy little red bump like a mosquito bite. The first 2 entomologists I spoke with insisted it couldn’t be this particular insect because “they don’t sting” and there are “no documented” reactions like mine. So I took a bullet to prove my case – the next time I was stung, I filmed with my iPhone – it was very clear video – and because that’s the longest I’d been stung – the reaction was well underway before video ended. My ankle looked like it swallowed a baseball. I also sent a video of the after affect – the tiny tears throughout the wound, the mysterious amber fluid leaking from them – skin so red it looks like a burn.. Finally a scientist said I was the first one he knew of to react this way and it simply meant that I’m severelyallergic even though they’re tiny. He also thought the stinging from the tail was extremely unusual behavior as it’s not documented either but I assured him that every time it’s ever happened, its come from the tail.. So – I carry Benadryl cream with me now and also crushing an aspirin and sticking it to the wound with the cream really helps the pain/throbbing so I suggest you try that.

  5. erhoades50 says:

    Missy, several have told me that the bug does not sting. I looked it up on the internet and it said they do not sting. Yet, the little bugs search me out. I walk outside and they migrate to me. Internet says they eat aphids. I guess you and I smell like aphids. You can tell the scientist you have met another person who has allergic reactions. Maybe they should test us to see why the bugs go after us and sting us. I wonder how many more people out there are like us.

  6. Susan Briggs says:

    I get these bugs every year in the back yard tree, and they bite me and my son. The bite will burn and itch for weeks after !! I am guessing its the lace bug larvae!

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