lo caterpillar

When most people think of pests that sting they think of bees, ants, or wasps…not caterpillars.  I mean, caterpillars are those cute little furry things that grow into beautiful butterflies…they don’t sting!  WRONG!  Well, some do.  In most cases, caterpillars only sting when they feel as though they are in danger.  Caterpillars are equipped with quill like hairs that are connected to poison sacs.  When these hairs are touched, they break through the skin and release the poison into the skin.  The majority of people stung by a caterpillar will have mild itching and irritation.  However, there are those rare occasions where people have needed medical attention.

If you are stung by a stinging caterpillar, place scotch tape over the area and rip off repeatedly in order to remove the caterpillar’s hairs.  Apply an ice pack to remove the stinging and apply a paste of baking soda mixed with water.  As in any case of bites or stings, if reactions worsen or continue, contact a medical professional.

There are several different species of stinging caterpillars such as lo caterpillar, monkey slug, puss caterpillar, saddleback caterpillar, spiny oak-slug and the white flannel moth caterpillar.  Caterpillars can be brought into buildings through plants or can be found on the outside walls.  Generally, no control is needed where caterpillars are found.  Avoidance or trapping the caterpillar and setting it free in a different area are the best solutions.

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