By now, you’ve seen the videos all over FB! You know the ones… the videos of the cute, fluffy caterpillars that are causing quite a ruckus! What exactly is this deceptive little creature anyway?
This striking caterpillar is the larval form of the equally visually striking moth Megalopyge opercularis. This lovely larva is also known as a southern flannel moth, pussy moth, tree asp, asp caterpillar, or the puss caterpillar!
Beckoning you to pet it with what appears to be fur, this insect actually sports venomous bristles that break off into the skin when touched by humans and causes serious pain! Touching the venomous bristles can also cause fever, vomiting, convulsions and a drop in blood pressure. Some people react more strongly than others, and require medical attention. Some individuals may only have an itching or burning sensation. So much for cute and fuzzy!
This caterpillar is the most poisonous in the country, and can be found on oaks, elms, citrus and other trees, as well as roses and ivy. It lives throughout the southern United States, Mexico, and parts of Central America. Interestingly, the larva does not spin a real cocoon, but uses its furry skin as a protective covering while it finishes growing. It’s probably quite effective at keeping would-be predators away!
This unfriendly caterpillar is more prevalent certain times of year – and right now is one of those times. And people getting stung is on the rise! Be sure to keep an eye out for these poisonous pests and don’t forget to warn children about them, as they may be tempted to try to touch this fuzzy foe. Oh, yeah, and don’t spend too much time hanging out underneath trees right now either; they might FALL ON YOU (the caterpillars, not the trees)!
So, what do you do if you do get stung? According to the Poison Center in Tampa, 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.
Here’s the bottom line: Don’t touch fuzzy caterpillars!
Photo courtesy of “Puss caterpillar1″
The month of September brings thoughts of fall, pumpkin spice lattes, and love bugs. Yes, those pesky amorous bugs are back like clock work! We know, we know…they are truly annoying. But, it is one of the small prices we pay for living in paradise!
Lovebugs have two favorite times of the year in Florida: May and September! And in honor of this new month, we’re re-sharing a blog post from earlier in the year.
Although harmless, love bugs are a PAIN! They get stuck in everything and make a stinky mess! Who can forget that characteristic odor they have…yuck!
So, what exactly are love bugs? Are they bugs or are they flies? And why do they congregate around highways and cars? And why do they destroy the paint on cars? Are they made out of some super acidic compound? And what’s that white stuff they leave all over the windshield? Ewww…gross!
Well, aren’t you full of questions?! Fortunately for you, we have the answers! Check out the video below to learn all this and more!
If you are looking for reliable, effective organic pest control services in the Sarasota area with great service to boot, contact us today! We have a wide variety of services to choose from and we specialize in providing eco-superior methods and products.