This just stung/bit my baby! What is it??
August 7, 2009
This bug was in the pool and could swim, it was hiding on the tile and bit/stung my son. His hand is swelling up but I dont know what it is to even start treating it. Please help!
I just identified this same insect that bit/stung my baby son this morning. We were in the pool and he started shreaking. I have googled for hours to find out how to treat this wound.
I need to know if its poisonous and if I should do something medically for my son. Any information would be helpful
We should begin this answer by stating that we are not scientists and any information that we provide, though we do research our replies as thoroughly as possible, is an amateur opinion. Secondly, we are not trained in the medical profession and do not give medical advice for bites and stings. Third, we do not normally provide parenting advice, but we feel you should have sought professional medical attention for your son immediately rather than to try to self diagnose on the internet. Any information you receive on the internet, and that includes What’s That Bug?, should be considered questionable at best.
The bite of a Toe-Biter or Giant Water Bug is reported to be quite painful, and you son’s reaction to the bite would tend to support that notion. Giant Water Bugs are not considered dangerous or venomous insects, but the swelling of your son’s hand may be cause for concern. We would counsel you to seek medical attention.
We at What’s that Bug would like to use this encounter with the Toe-Biter as a cautionary tale that is instructive and might reduce Unnecessary Carnage of bugs that appear menacing in the future. Toe-Biters are not normally aggressive, but they will bite if threatened or carelessly handled. This is not a reason to kill them when they are encountered as they perform a necessary function in a balanced ecosystem by preying upon other aquatic creatures. It should also be noted that if a person is bitten by a questionable insect, spider, or scorpion, it is often helpful to have the actual specimen handy for experts to diagnose the potential need for venom antibodies. So in this sense, we do not consider this particular dead Toe-Biter to be Unnecessary Carnage.
We wish your son a speedy recovery and hope his trauma is short-lived and that he will learn to appreciate the sometimes scary world of nature that abounds around him.
Unnecessary Carnage Comment
August 9, 2009
RE: unnecessary carnage
I love your site, and visit it several times a day. Many thanks for posting such lovely images and so much information (you helped me ID a one-eyed Sphinx moth here in Seattle)! I also love the fact that you tell folks when they have committed an act of unnecessary carnage, but sadly, you have been very hesitant to do so lately… Please don’t let one or two unhinged people keep you from providing a vital service- letting humans know that insects are innocent until proven guilty!