Bug bites can range from a minor nuisance to a full-blown terrifying (and potentially deadly) emergency depending on the insect and the resulting physical reaction. The Internet is filled with horrifying insect bite photos that show the gruesome and painful resulting damage. If you have an aversion to gross bug bite pictures, you probably should not Google image search for bug bites, because you may not be able to escape the primal fear that they elicit.
If you're still unfazed, let's take a look at some of the most disgusting, horrifying, and excruciating bug bites ever documented. Whether it's intense blistering, gangrenous infection, or cracked and swollen skin, these images will make you wish you had some eye bleach handy.
The Brown Recluse Bite Contains Flesh Eating Venom
The brown recluse is a venomous spider native to North America. It has a hemotoxic venom, which in most cases causes little harm, but it sometimes can cause a dying off of cells called necrosis. In the instances of necrotic bites, the bite forms an ulcer as the result of soft tissue death and may take months to heal. The ulcer continues to get eaten away and can grow to as large as 10 inches, eventually leading to gangrene.
The Bullet Ant Is The Holy Grail Of Pain
The bullet ant is rated at the top of the Schmidt sting pain index. Its sting is described as, "Pure, intense, brilliant pain. Like walking over flaming charcoal with a 3-inch nail embedded in your heel."
The bullet ant gets its name from people reporting that the sting was similar in sensation to being shot. If you're wondering who this subset of people who have both been stung by a bullet ant and shot by a gun are, they're most likely from the Mawé people, an Amazonian indigenous group who have a coming of age ritual involving sticking your hands into gloves filled with bullet ants.
Remarkably, the sting itself does not cause tissue damage, but an image search shows that the pain must be horrendous from the faces made by their poor victims.
Human Botfly Larvae Grows While Eating Your Flesh
The human botfly is one of several flies that parasitize human flesh. The eggs of the botfly are usually transported by other insects like mosquitoes. When the mosquito bites a human, the eggs hatch and the larva makes their way into the flesh through the wound. Its body has tiny hooks that help it dig deeper into your muscle tissue where will eat until it is ready to exit. In the meantime, the larva can grow more than an inch long under your skin, leaving a gaping hole for an exit wound.
Ticks Embed Their Faces Into Your Skin
The tick is a pest we usually associate with dogs and cats, or even a goofy superhero, but they're actually pestilence-ridden monsters that dig head-first into your skin. They use their mouths to hack into the skin and burrow their tiny heads inside to engorge themselves on blood.
The bite is mildly painful, but it's the saliva of the tick that does the real damage. Tick saliva is filled with pathogens and many diseases, like Lyme disease and tick paralysis, are caused by ticks. The real horror lies in the tick's ability to detach its head when attempting removal. The head still has salivary glands, so it can still spread its nasty cocktail long after you think you've removed the threat.