As many gardeners know, what you see is not always what you get. From poisonous mushroom lookalikes to gorgeous carnivorous plants, nature likes to play tricks. These adorable little buddies, aptly nicknamed the puss caterpillar, are irresistible. However, they are also highly toxic.
Puss caterpillars are native to the U.S. and are the most venomous caterpillars in the country. Their fluffy exterior hides tiny toxic spikes that can embed in your skin, causing extreme pain.
This pain can radiate upwards towards the shoulder, and can last up to 12 hours. A sting can even result in vomiting or convulsions, so it is important to keep an eye out and not touch them. If you do get stung, you can use scotch tape on the area to try and remove some of the spikes. You should not rub the wound or pour alcohol on it as this can make it worse.
Reports of puss caterpillar stings are primarily coming in from the east coast, including North Carolina and Florida. Make sure that you and your family know how to identify these critters and steer clear!
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