• Travel Warnings

World's Most Painful Insect Bites

Next time you’re out hiking, avoid these insects at all costs.

Red Harvester Ant

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Red harvester ants are adorably industrious, foraging for seeds on the forest floor and hoarding them in underground larders. However, they can be downright aggressive when defending their stash. Their sting ranks alongside paper wasps in intensity and is “bold and unrelenting, like somebody using a drill to excavate your ingrown toenail,” says Schmidt.

Where They’re Found: The U.S. has 22 species of harvester ants, seven of which are found in Texas.

How to Avoid Them: If you find a harvester ant colony in the yard, consider moving; the queen can outlive a mortgage.

World's Most Painful Insect Bites

Red Harvester Ant

Red harvester ants are adorably industrious, foraging for seeds on the forest floor and hoarding them in underground larders. However, they can be downright aggressive when defending their stash. Their sting ranks alongside paper wasps in intensity and is “bold and unrelenting, like somebody using a drill to excavate your ingrown toenail,” says Schmidt.

Where They’re Found: The U.S. has 22 species of harvester ants, seven of which are found in Texas.

How to Avoid Them: If you find a harvester ant colony in the yard, consider moving; the queen can outlive a mortgage.

Nick Richter
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