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Stinging Caterpillars

 

Buck Moth Caterpillar

 

Description

A large caterpillar, 1-3/4" to 2-1/4" long when mature. It is yellow-brown to purplish-black with many small white spots and a reddish head. Feeds on oak, willow and other deciduous plants.

Bite Site

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Possible Symptoms

Some people experience severe reactions to the poison released by the spines and require medical attention. Others experience only an itching or burning sensation.

Recommended Treatment Protocol

Place Scotch tape over the affected area and strip off repeatedly to remove spines. Apply ice packs to reduce the stinging sensation, and follow with a paste of baking soda and water. If the victim has a history of hay fever, asthma or allergy, or if allergic reactions develop, contact a physician immediately.


Flannel Moth Caterpillar

 

Description

This caterpillar is about 1" long when mature. Stinging hairs are intermixed with soft hairs in diffuse tufts. Larvae are creamy white (Upper photo), turning dark as they mature (lower photo). They feed on oak and various other shrubs and trees.

Bite Site

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Possible Symptoms

Some people experience severe reactions to the poison released by the spines and require medical attention. Others experience only an itching or burning sensation.

Recommended Treatment Protocol

Place Scotch tape over the affected area and strip off repeatedly to remove spines. Apply ice packs to reduce the stinging sensation, and follow with a paste of baking soda and water. If the victim has a history of hay fever, asthma or allergy, or if allergic reactions develop, contact a physician immediately.


Hag Caterpillar

 

Description

Light- to dark-brown with nine pairs (sometimes fewer) of variable-length, lateral processes, which bear the stinging hairs. It is found on various forest trees and ornamental shrubs. Not as common as the other species.

Bite Site

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Possible Symptoms

Some people experience severe reactions to the poison released by the spines and require medical attention. Others experience only an itching or burning sensation.

Recommended Treatment Protocol

Place Scotch tape over the affected area and strip off repeatedly to remove spines. Apply ice packs to reduce the stinging sensation, and follow with a paste of baking soda and water. If the victim has a history of hay fever, asthma or allergy, or if allergic reactions develop, contact a physician immediately.


Io Moth Caterpillar

 

Description

Pale green with yellow and red stripes. Often exceeds 2" in length and is fairly stout-bodied. The nettling organs are borne on fleshy tubercles, and the spines are usually yellow with black tips. The spines are connected to poison glands. Ixora and rose are their favorite hosts.

Bite Site

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Possible Symptoms

Some people experience severe reactions to the poison released by the spines and require medical attention. Others experience only an itching or burning sensation.

Recommended Treatment Protocol

Place Scotch tape over the affected area and strip off repeatedly to remove spines. Apply ice packs to reduce the stinging sensation, and follow with a paste of baking soda and water. If the victim has a history of hay fever, asthma or allergy, or if allergic reactions develop, contact a physician immediately.


Puss Caterpillar

 

Description

A convex, stout-bodied larva, almost 1" long when mature, and completely covered with gray to brown hairs. Under the soft hairs are stiff spines that are attached to poison glands. When touched, these poisonous spines break off in the skin and cause severe pain. Most often found on oaks and citrus. In Florida there are two generations a year, one in spring and the other in fall.

Bite Site

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Possible Symptoms

Some people experience severe reactions to the poison released by the spines and require medical attention. Others experience only an itching or burning sensation.

Recommended Treatment Protocol

Place Scotch tape over the affected area and strip off repeatedly to remove spines. Apply ice packs to reduce the stinging sensation, and follow with a paste of baking soda and water. If the victim has a history of hay fever, asthma or allergy, or if allergic reactions develop, contact a physician immediately.


Saddleback Caterpillar

 

Description

Brown with a green back and flanks, on which there is a conspicuous brown oval central area that usually is bordered with white. The brown spot looks like a saddle, and the green area looks like a saddle blanket. It may exceed an inch in length and is stout-bodied. The primary nettling hairs are borne on the back of paired fleshy protuberances toward the front and hind ends of the body. There is also a row of smaller stinging organs on each side.

Bite Site

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Possible Symptoms

Some people experience severe reactions to the poison released by the spines and require medical attention. Others experience only an itching or burning sensation.

Recommended Treatment Protocol

Place Scotch tape over the affected area and strip off repeatedly to remove spines. Apply ice packs to reduce the stinging sensation, and follow with a paste of baking soda and water. If the victim has a history of hay fever, asthma or allergy, or if allergic reactions develop, contact a physician immediately.


Spiny Oak-Slug Caterpillar

 

Description

A pale-green caterpillar about 3/4" long when mature. Favorite food plants include oak, willow and other deciduous plants.

Bite Site

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Possible Symptoms

Some people experience severe reactions to the poison released by the spines and require medical attention. Others experience only an itching or burning sensation.

Recommended Treatment Protocol

Place Scotch tape over the affected area and strip off repeatedly to remove spines. Apply ice packs to reduce the stinging sensation, and follow with a paste of baking soda and water. If the victim has a history of hay fever, asthma or allergy, or if allergic reactions develop, contact a physician immediately.


 
 

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