As a company striving to make the best products to control problem insects, we take our jobs seriously.
But imagine being so committed to the cause that you volunteer to be stung by various insects, just to record the data and share what it feels like?
That's what Justin O. Schmidt, an entomologist at the Carl Hayden Bee Research Center in Arizona, did back in 1983 -- just one year after RESCUE! Pest Control Products got its humble start. Over the years, Schmidt has sampled 83 stings.
Known as the "King of Sting", Schmidt created the Schmidt Sting Pain Index, focusing on the order Hymenoptera which includes wasps, bees and ants. He also wrote a book called "The Sting of the Wild: The story of the Man Who Got Stung for Science".
Recording vivid, poetic descriptions of each insect sting, he offers this explanation for the detail: “I realized that most of us don’t think in terms of numbers. We think in terms of images and art and beauty and song. That’s the way our species communicates and really understands things. So, I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be fun to try to apply this as kind of an artistic equivalent?’”
Schmidt certainly got artistic in his prose. Witness these accounts of being stung by various insects:
Bald-faced hornet: "Rich, hearty, slightly crunchy. Similar to getting your hand mashed in a revolving door."
Red paper wasp: "Caustic and burning. Distinctly bitter aftertaste. Like spilling a beaker of hydrochloric acid on a paper cut."
Nocturnal hornet: "Rude, insulting. An ember from your campfire is glued to your forearm."
Western honey bee: "Burning, corrosive, but you can handle it. A flaming match head lands on your arm and is quenched first with lye and then sulfuric acid."
Yellowjacket: "Hot and smoky, almost irreverent. Imagine W.C. Fields extinguishing a cigar on your tongue."
Visit this page for more of Schmidt's entertaining descriptions of stings.
If you're like us, and you don't care to know what these stings feel like: