I have been stung by 5 hornets at once, received dozens of mosquito bites in a day, and stood on ant ant hill once, but I have NEVER Hawaii_D2-63been attacked by insects like this. On our trip to
Rainbow Falls in Kona Hawaii, we stopped at a beautiful lookout point. At one point I thought it would make a good picture to sit on a palm tree stretched out over the beach. Unknown to me, the tree was covered in thousands of tiny fire ants.

“I stripped to my bathing suit in front of a stranger and poured water all over myself. I didn’t care, I was in so much pain.”

All I was wearing a bathing suit under a sundress. As I sat down and wrapped my arms and legs around the trunk of the tree I thought the tree was scratching me. Soon a piercing pain was spreading over my thighs. Once I realized what was happening, I quickly swatted at the ants, yelled at my sister to get off her tree, then proceeded to run a block uphill to our car. I stripped to my bathing suit in front of a stranger and poured water all over myself. I didn’t care how I looked, I was in so much pain. It felt like a Habanero pepper being rubbed over chaffed skin.

Sadly, my poor sister got eaten up too. Thankfully, our next stop was Rainbow Falls and dipping our burning legs into the cool pools of water soothed the pain. Our our way home we made a much needed stop at the conveince store to buy Benadryl and anti-itch cream. When I got home I wanted to know what exactly I got bit by so I looked it up. According to the Hawaiian Invasive Species Council, these fire ants are widespread to Hawaii, clear red in color, only 1mm in size, and pack a painful sting that can produce welts that last several weeks. Yup. I lived with those bug bites for the rest of our trip. After the raw, burning-like pain subsided, the bites were constantly itchy. I would take a dozen mosquito bites over a dozen fire ant bites any day. Lesson learned, do not sit on trees in Hawaii! ♦