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.

Location: Michigan

10 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.

    • Someone says:

      I’m sure you have got through this by now, but
      If something is going to abscess, it’s good to put a hot compress on it. That will draw the infection out. My doctor had me to they for a cat bite.

  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.

  5. tinkerbell says:

    I got bit this past week.! It has been the same as the others reported. Except this one was in my house. My bite started raised….but has progressed to over an inch. I got bit in a blood vessel in the bend of my elbow…like where you would draw blood. It hurts worse and worse. Feels like my skin is crawling and stretching….like a sharp cutting. We do have aphids on my property. But anyone know what to do to deter the in the home? I run a daycare and don’t need the kids to get bit.

  6. Tanisha Davis says:

    I was stung a few times when one of these little buggers somehow slipped in my bra while I was outside having a smoke at work. I finally saw what was doing the damage and I had never seen one before and immediately killed it then went to look up what it was. They said all over the web that it’s sting should have no effect but a week later it’s turned into a big red raised itchy spot I can’t seem to get rid of.

  7. Kainan Jordan says:

    Bitten yesterday, and today I have a painful, itchy welt about an inch in diameter. Surprised that they bite, and even more surprised by the result. It’s worse than I react to bee stings.

    • Kainan Jordan says:

      That was quite a bite. The bump lasted for weeks, and ended up leaving a small scar. New respect for these little guys. I was working in my flowers and must have brushed against it. I felt a stinging on the underside of my forearm. It wasn’t intensely painful and when I saw what it was with both mandibles buried in my skin, I just sat there amused by his tenacity, and let it bite me for far too long. I did not know it was injecting digestive venom the whole time. Had I brushed it off right when it bit me it probably wouldn’t’ve been so bad. There was a little bit of tissue death at the bite site and the inch wide bump was sore to the touch like a bruise which sucked because it also itched like crazy. I put antiseptic cream on it and was careful not to scratch the center of the bite and there was no infection. The center scabbed over and left a small scar I can still see a year later. No hard feelings, though. I consider this as more or less a freak accident that I don’t expect will ever happen again, but if it does I won’t sit and stare at it next time.

      • Krissy says:

        I live in central Texas and have chairs and a canopy out back. These little sh*ts have bitten me and my housemate at least 30 times in the past year. I always think I’ve gotten away with a minimal bite, but the next day is usually when the itching starts and it lasts for days. Comes up as a pale bump surrounded by red-irritated skin. I just want my little 11 x11 ft sanctuary with no bites.

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