It is acid bug season in Freetown. A number of my friends have had acid bug lesions over the past few weeks and I thought I was happy to escape them once again. For 7 ½ years I have not encountered an acid bug attack. Those days are over. One of the little beetles got me this time. The beetle does not bite or sting but when it is crushed against the skin it releases a toxin. The result is itching, burning and redness 12-48 hours. Well, call it a classic case. For the past 2 days I had a burning sensation around my eye. I could feel it, but I couldn’t see any irritation. I thought it was strange, until I woke up this morning and saw that it was red and slightly irritated. I knew right away that it was an acid bug bite. Fortunately it is not severe and I’m sure it will heal without any problems over the next few days. The worst thing now is that I have seen two of the little creatures in the last hour while sitting at my table and one of them just crawled into my backpack!
For more acid bug info see: http://dermatology-s10.cdlib.org/127/case_reports/paederus/qadir.html