ethel’s words

Click your browser’s “Back” button to return to SmashingIkons

THE ASSASSIN BUG

Several or many years ago, a day became eventful when I put on the rubber gloves that hang “open” underneath the sink.

Zap! Gasp! [Curse!] Sharp stab and fiery stinging. Off came the glove; I folded the cuff and dashed outside, expecting I would find a Black Widow or Brown Recluse spider. Neither. A beetle-looking guy, but no doubt the villain. Amazed that I could keep my wits--I am terrified of creepy-crawlies (except in the garden)--I summoned rescue.

A Board of Health entomologist readily identified my attacker as an “Assassin Bug”. He explained that the Assassin injects a poison that paralyzes insects. My finger was not swollen, nor even red, as I recall, but the burning was intense. This non-running predator waits and rams his poison into a passerby. It paralyzes insects and scares humans. My finger remained sore for months--probably my own sensitivity.

I thought, and think, someday a child will be envenomated by an Assassin Bug and in the absence of swelling or inflammation, the kid will be ridiculed. That is probably the nastiest aspect of an Assassin Bug attack.

Ethel C. Hale