What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Small with Big Bite (or sting)
Location: Southeast Michigan
July 7, 2012 12:23 pm
We keep finding these little guys all over our deck in the backyard. It seems their favorite hangout is our picnic table (we don’t picnic on it, so they’re not waiting for scraps). If they crawl on you, they can really hang on. They’re only about 1/4 inch, but they’ve got a wicked bite (or sting). They can even bite/sting through a loose tee-shirt. Some people have allergic reaction to the bite/sting and welt up, others just feel the pain. We’ve never seen them in the house or even other parts of the yard (which is half an acre). Any help identifying these little guys would be greatly appreciated!
Signature: Rice Fam

Lacewing Larva

Dear Rice Fam,
We know first hand that the bite of a Lacewing Larva is surprisingly noticeable compared to the size of the creature.  Lacewing Lavae and adults are both important predators that help to control the population of Aphids and other plant feeding insects.  The bite is not dangerous.  The larva of a Lacewing is commonly called an Aphid Wolf.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Michigan
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4 Responses to Lacewing Larva: Aphid Wolf Bites Human!!!

  1. Patricia baumberger says:

    I got bit by one of these 3 days ago, and it’s swollen, red, and it itches like crazy. I’m worried that it’s going to abscess, because it looks like it’s getting worse not better.
    I guess I have an allergy to bug bites, now…they never bothered me so badly before, now it gets crazy. I encountered bed bugs several months ago, and felt like I was dying with those bites. This single lace wing larvae bite is a real doozy. If there was more than one bite, it would be equal to or worse than the bed bug bites I got.
    Anyways, concerning this bite, I know it was a lace wing larvae, because I felt the sharp sting of the bite, and looked at my arm and saw the little jerk on my arm. I walked the vicious idiot outside, and spared his life after he bit me…but that was before the swelling and excruciating itchiness set in. I should’ve flushed him, what a beast. Totally wrong for it to bite me like that, I did nothing wrong. I really think these bugs have a bad attitude.

  2. Stevie Flint says:

    Just had my first lacewing larva bite. Just as people have said, it has a nasty sting and a potent itch and raised bump as well. Shocked the heck out of me because I have never experienced a bite from one of these in all of my 65 years in spite of all the gardening and other plant exposure that I have had. I really thought that the biting midge ( No See ’em ) was the biggest little bully on the block but this guy comes in for a very close second!

  3. Peter Thomas says:

    Definitely has a shockingly stinging bite for being so ver tiny ! I’ve been mobbed by fire ants, been stung by yellow jackets, honey bees, bumblebee, Red Wasp (OW!), and a few other things…for its size, the teeny lacewing larvae definitely packs a wallop!

  4. Jim Bezdan says:

    I had one bite my ankle and ended up with a swollen, red, highly itchy lump about .75″ in diameter for close to a week. It took over a month for it to fully disappear.

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