Friday, September 11, 2009

Schmidt Sting Pain Index

This is pretty cool. Here's one of the descriptions of sting pain:
1.2 Fire ant: Sharp, sudden, mildly alarming. Like walking across a shag carpet & reaching for the light switch.
Yes, but now stand still in the middle of a Texas backyard, wait five minutes, then look down at the dark swarm covering your feet and ankles. Just wait, wait ever so briefly, because the moment you finally notice is also the moment that captain fire ant gives the signal for all of them to bite simultaneously. That's a little more than "mildly alarming." I would also add that the ensuing response has little to do with "walking."


Cheryl Rofer said...

I have some ants living in my yard that don't swarm, and I don't think they're fireants. And I wouldn't rate their bite as just that mild kind of electric shock. Plus the pain lasts at least a day.

helmut said...

That sounds like it would be the bullet ant, listed on the SSPI. This is also true of fireants, however - the bite of just one might not be that bad, but they leave their mandibles in your skin so that the pain might endure for much of the day. I am writing a 700-page tome on why the existence of the fire ant proves there is no God.

MT said...

It's like a Borges version of the Beaufort scale. Women, fire ants and dangerous things.