Painful bug bite

Asked July 24, 2019, 2:40 PM EDT

Help- I was hiking the upper “Summer trail” at Jay Cooke and got bitten by a large bug. It burned like fire so much I was screaming. Trying to get it off of my wrist it felt like significant size, maybe a beetle? It didn’t swell like a hive (like bee or mosquito bites do), but left a bright red spot the size of pencil eraser. I put mud on it, and kept a cold, wet bandanna on it and it continued to burn. Throughout the next several hours my bones hurt in the area, and it hurt to move my hand- although I could no longer see the bite spot. *my daughter said it was black and might have had a bit of orange on it. Today I am fine....but curious as to what it might have been.

Carlton County Minnesota

2 Responses

It is really hard to know what the bug was without a picture. Something that you reacted to may not cause much of a reaction on another person. I would be glad that you feel fine now. If you do find you have a serious reaction you may want to seek medical attention. When hiking Jay Cooke or the rest of our beautiful area I am always thankful that we have so few poisonous bugs and no poisonous snakes!

I reached out Jeff Hahn, University of Minnesota Extension entomologist to get information on what insect this could possibly be. His response is below: I read the question and there is just not enough information to be able to identify the insect. However, I suspect it probably was not a beetle. They would use their mandibles to chew and probably could not cause the injury described. I suspect it was either some kind of wasp that stung the person or perhaps a true bug (with piercing - sucking mouthparts). True bugs can be confused with beetle, although there are not many that are so large. Whatever did this would have done so inadvertently and not intentionally.