Reports of those furry cute but dangerous puss caterpillars are starting to pop up again all around Florida. Pull Caterpillars tend to show up in the spring and then again this time of year. They’re about an inch long and hairy. The hairs are yellow/brown to a purple/black color, soft, and have small white spots according to Florida’s Poison Control Centers in Tampa. Their heads are a reddish color. You’re most likely to find them near oak, willow and other plants they feed on.
If you get bit, you might need medical attention. Some people just feel an itch or a burn. But others feel like they’re getting stabbed repeatedly and experience a severe reaction. If you have an encounter with one of these critters, here’s what they say are the 3 things to do if you get stung by a puss caterpillar.
- Put some tape over the area and keep ripping it off to get those little spines out.
- Apply an ice pack. That’ll help reduce the sting.
- Mix a paste of baking soda and water and spread it over the area.
Lastly, they say to watch for allergic reactions. If you have a history of hay fever or asthma, you’ll want to contact a physician. Poison help is available by phone at 1-800-222-1222. [Source: PoisonCenterTampa.org]