Not Only Is This Bug Huge, It Will Bite You. And It Hurts!
So, two seemingly unrelated things happened recently. 1) I was out near the mall, and I saw this absolutely huge bug just hanging out in the parking lot. I had no idea what it was, but it was enormous, and totally gross. 2) Then I was cruising through Facebook, and saw that WMTW TV-8 put up a photo of a giant disgusting bug, that it said could bite you. And it was 100% the same exact thing I'd seen at the mall.
I've lived in Maine all my life, and this story was from Georgia. So at first, I thought it couldn't possibly be the same bug. But unfortunately, it is. It's Latin-y science name is Belostomatidae, according to UMaine. It's also known as the "toe-biter" or "giant water bug". It's huge, gross, ugly looking, and scary. And again, it bites you! Just look at that ridiculous mouth-stinger thingie:
Truth be told, it's not a sting, officially. It sticks that barb into your flesh, and eats (insert vomit emoji here). Then, it's saliva enters your body in that spot, and the toxin, though it isn't powerful enough to do us any real harm, stings like crazy, as you can see in the video below.
I swear, if you blew this bug up with some crazy sci-fi growth ray, they'd be the giant bugs in Starship Troopers. These grody insects are straight from Klandathu. I could've lived my whole life, never knowing these things are here in my back yard.
Well, kind of. You're only going to find them near damp, marshy, wetland type areas. Bonus if there's a light source in the area, because they're extremely attracted to light. And where I was out by the mall, there was definitely a little marshy spot right nearby, and huge flood lights. Literally, the perfect storm.
So, you're not gonna die. And though it stings pretty bad I guess, I wouldn't really worry. Just watch out for your kids. If I were six years old, and got stung by something that looked like a miniature man-eater, I'd probably scream too.