I got bit for the first time, by Jack Jumpers, last week.
I've been bitten by Inchmen before. It wasn't nice. Hurt a LOT, and was swollen and itchy for over a week.
When Phillip and I were in Hobart for Ben we visited a free museum (doctors encouraged us to get out of the hospital in between tests as much as possible). There was a Jack Jumper nest on display. And some facts about them being the deadliest animal... creature... in Tasmania.
Which was surprising. I mean, it's an ant. And not even a large ant.
But they have a pretty venomous sting that, unfortunately, can commonly cause anaphylaxis.
They can also jump.
And have quite a temper.
And there are at least 3 nests on the small bit of property we own, and the immediate surrounding area that our landlord lets us use (though we don't technically rent that land). I knew they give pretty painful bites (second-hand knowledge till now), and that Phillip is so allergic to the sting, the surrounding area gets ridiculously swollen. Yet another thing I've had to avoid like crazy during outdoor play so Simon and myself don't get stung. They are EVERYWHERE around our house.
But when we took a walk one evening with Simon, and I saw some blackberries that looked ripe, I was thinking more along the lines of "there's no snakes around, yay! Simon loves blackberries, I can give him a small treat!" than looking out for yet another Jack Jumper nest. So as I reached to check the blackberries, I started to feel a sudden BURNING sting on my ankle.
Looking down, there were Jack Jumpers swarming everywhere around my foot. I have no real idea what happened next except I apparently, in a panicked tone, asked my husband for help while flicking the ants out of my sock and backing away from the nest, then grabbed Simon and we walked away, me swearing in my head and trying not to panic.
The ants didn't stay on me, and I only ended up with three bits on my ankle. Somehow I didn't get stung on the hand while pulling the ants out of my sock. Based on my reaction from the Inchman bite, I was thinking something along the same lines would happen or worse, and began frantically (calmly) Googleing what to do for the bites.
I was worried for nothing, as it turns out. All night, the most that happened was the bite marks stung badly now and then, and a week and a day later, they are just VERY itchy. But no worse than a mosquito bite.
And I have, yet again with my reaction to something, scared Simon sufficiently enough that he really doesn't want anything to do with these bugs. He kept saying "Ma, ow. Ow. Ba bu." (Translated: Mommy, ow. Ow. Bad bugs.) I'm taking that as a very good thing to come out of this.
Also good? Learning the ant stings don't do much more to me than hurt like hell.