Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Caution! Check Your Store Bought Bagged Salads For Assassins!

 A word to the wise ... check your grocery store bagged salad mixes. This is what I found in the bag!

And it bit me!

 If you look closely you can see a tiny puncture wound in my finger.

Simply, I had opened a bag of salad mix (purchased at a major retail chain) and suddenly felt a strong stinging sensation in one of the fingers on my left hand. Immediately, I dropped the bag of salad onto the kitchen counter and furiously brushed at my fingers.  

At first glance I thought I'd just brushed off just a bit of wilted lettuce onto the counter. Then when I glanced down and I saw  the "lettuce" move, I became a bit freaked out to say the least. My hubby rushed into the kitchen when he heard me yelling, "It bit me ... it bit me!" I quickly ran my hands under cold water and he brought me some peroxide to disinfect the area where I'd been bit. In all the confusion I didn't realize he had trapped the insect with a clear plastic cup. So of course, I took a few photos.

For the next few hours I kept an eye on my finger. Thankfully, there was very little swelling and the pain subsided. Later that evening I did some research on the Net regarding my new little "friend". I looked up "bugs and produce" and I'm fairly certain that I was stung by an insect known as an Assassin Bug. From the photos I'd looked at, this insect was probably a nymph. Surprisingly, they are very beneficial predatory insects, but they can inflict a painful sting, similar to a bee sting, on an unsuspecting human.  They are found worldwide. 

And what became of this little assassin ... ?  Both it and the salad went into the trash! 


  1. I'm so pleased you're OK, Jane, but what a shock! I've never heard of this happening before. I hope it doesn't put you off salad. I looked up Assassin Bugs. Apparently we have more than 300 species of them in Australia and they are known to bite people. It's very painful but doesn't last long and is localized. Another reason to wear gloves in the garden, but who's going to wear gloves in the kitchen?

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