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Little bugs that bite big
Stinging insects are trying to deliver a message.
August 8th, 2012
12:00 PM ET

Little bugs that bite big

By Jim Ribble, CNN

(CNN) - Imagine spending your professional life getting stung by insects. It's just another day at the office for entomologist Justin Schmidt at the University of Arizona.

[3:38] "You get these waves of pain, and you're just there in agony. Ice won't work, a little bit of libation won't help the problem, you can't sleep," he says.

[0:15] "One of the good things about stinging insects is that if they have a 'message' to give you, they'll give it to you voluntarily, and you don't really have to entice them to."

Based on the personal  and agonizing experience of receiving those messages, Schmidt's compiled a list of the 10-most-painful insect stings. Here they are, starting with the "least" painful:

#10: SWEAT BEE- Like a tiny spark has singed a hair on your arm.

#9: FIRE ANT- Like walking across a shag carpet and reaching for the light switch.

#8: BULLHORN ACACIA ANT- Like someone fired a staple into your cheek.

#7: BALD-FACED HORNET- Like getting your hand smashed in a revolving door.

#6: YELLOWJACK- Imagine W.C. Fields putting out a cigar on your tongue.

#5: HONEYBEE- Like a matchhead burning your skin.

#4: RED HARVESTER ANT- Like using a drill to excavate your ingrown toenail.

#3: PAPER WASP- Like spilling a beaker of hydrochloric acid on a paper cut.

#2: TARANTULA HAWK – Like a running hair drier has been dropped into your bubble bath.

#1:  BULLET ANT- Like firewalking over flaming charcoal with a 3-inch nail grinding into your heel.

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