Tarantula hawk wasps are relatively docile and rarely sting without provocation. However, the sting?particularly that of P. grossa?is among the most painful of all insects, though the intense pain only lasts about five minutes. One researcher described the pain as "...immediate, excruciating, unrelenting pain that simply shuts down one's ability to do anything, except scream. Mental discipline simply does not work in these situations."In terms of scale, the wasp's sting is rated near the top of the Schmidt sting pain index, second only to that of the bullet ant, and is described by Schmidt as "blinding, fierce[, and] shockingly electric". Because of their extremely large stingers, very few animals are able to eat them; one of the few that can is the roadrunner.