It’s less that I have a phobia about insects and bugs than it is that I have significant issues with bites and stings. The short explanation is that I’ve had allergic reactions to most of them for most of my life, the worst of them ending up with significant local swelling.
In an interesting twist of fate, it is that allergy that ended up getting me diagnosed with diabetes and all that other nice “metabolic syndrome” stuff six years ago: I had suffered a couple of insect bites on my toes that made wearing shoes… difficult.
For most of the intervening years, I’ve managed to avoid much more than the normal-person itching and discomfort. (Using lancets to open the site and drain the fluids helped.) I thought it was a matter of good control and weight loss. Yesterday, though, five of the buggers attacked me - two of them through my tightly-woven compression hose. The last one of those godforsaken little… lifeforms… had the mixed fortune of attacking me while I was washing out the salad bowl at about 11PM… I felt the tingle, saw the insect (at least I thought it was an insect; it could have been an arachnid of some sort) and in my usual anti-bite panic, brushed it off. I must have injured it in the process, since the entrance wound STUNG for the next half-hour straight. Not itching, but STINGING, bringing me almost to the point of tears.
The culprit was definitely not a bee, wasp, or yellow-jacket. What I saw was roughly 3/16" and either dark gray or black. And there I am, armed with lancets, lancing device (to put pressure around the opening), and hydrogen peroxide, trying to draw out any crap before I end up with large lumps all over me, and watching the near-skin area rise in an irregular yellowish patch, with the surrounding skin swelling and inflaming… and ending up with significant wound-site inflammation regardless.
When I was little, my pediatrician told my parents to put hot Epsom salt wetpacks on the bites to draw out the crap… which didn’t generally work because there was no place for it to exit. And right now I am dealing with inflammation significant enough to detect by touch…heat is the last thing I want to apply.
Why, oh why do these little buggers choose me to make miserable???