Hairy Scary! Venomous Puss Caterpillars Spotted in Virginia; Know About These Creepy and One of The Dangerous Caterpillars in US

The Virginia Department of Forestry is warning residents to stay away from the venomous puss caterpillars because on its very thick and hairy coat, they have spines that have toxins. These insects have started appearing in "parks or near structures" in eastern Virginia. Let us know more about these creepy insects and are they as dangerous?

October 11, 2020

Technology

3 min

zeenews

The year of 2020 is nearing its end but the problems we face are far from over. While months of pandemic go on, there is a warning for another insect, almost as dangerous as the , this time in Virginia. Hairy caterpillars have been reported in the US state and residents have been warned to keep their distance from these creepy crawlies. The Virginia Department of Forestry is warning residents to stay away from the venomous puss caterpillars because on its very thick and hairy coat, they have spines that have toxins. These insects have started appearing in “parks or near structures” in eastern Virginia. Let us know more about these creepy insects and are they as dangerous? 

The Virginia Department of Forestry posted a picture of this creepy-looking insect and asked people to “Social Distance away from this caterpillar!” They mention that caterpillars ear oak and elm leaves. They mention that the hair is actually venomous spines that cause a painful reaction if touched. They have got many reports of recent sightings in the area. 

Check The Facebook Post Here:

On the post, someone who has been stung by this caterpillar commented, “Hurts like nothing you ever had. My husband got stung 2 years ago and we still talk about it.” As of now the authorities are depending on the natural predators of these caterpillars to keep them in check. In case their populations get out of control then they will intervene.

Know More About Venomous Puss Caterpillar

The venomous puss caterpillar transforms into a southern flannel moth for its adult form. About an inch-long larva it is generously coated in long, luxuriant hair-like spines which mostly give them the name “puss”.  This fur-like pattern is extremely curly in the early stages. This hair of the larva contains venomous spines that cause extremely painful reactions in human skin upon contact.

This tiny toupee like creature is described as one of the most venomous caterpillars in the United States according to University of Florida’s Entomology and Nematology Department. It is dangerous because of the venomous spines. Exposure or a slight touch to them can result in extreme skin irritation. It may feel like a bee sting and if you are already sensitive to allergies, one must seek medical attention. The reactions are sometimes to the affected area, but can be very severe. They can cause burning, swelling, nausea, headache, abdominal distress, rashes, blisters, and sometimes chest pain, numbness, or difficulty breathing. Depending on the severity of the sting, they can also affect a person’s blood pressure.

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