As we turn the calendar pages and look forward to the high temperatures easing off (they will, soon!), we know our perennial snowbirds will soon be headed to the Sunshine state. But another seasonal guest is also headed our way. And it carries more danger than a constantly blinking left turn signal.
Fuzzy but Deadly
Every spring and fall, Florida faces an incursion from one of the most venomous insects in the world. The Puss caterpillar, shown in our graphic, looks like a bad toupee, or a fat, fluffy rabbit’s ear. But the luck it brings is not the good kind.
The caterpillar has a sharp, poisonous spine cleverly hidden under its bristly, teddy-bear like fur. Just a casual brush across the spine creates a horrible burning sensation like hundreds of fire ants swarming the area. Even having one fall on you can be painful.
But what comes next is worse. Because the barbs are so small, there are often still some lingering after the wound is cleaned. Left unattended, the poison builds – creating excruciating pain that spreads through your body. The agony lasts for up to twelve hours and can even make your bones ache.
These caterpillars metamorphose into southern flannel moths, which, thankfully, aren’t venomous, but do exhibit some strange behaviors – like covering their eggs with hair, and flinging poop away from their bodies to avoid predators.
Fair Weather Fiend
Luckily, these potentially lethal carpetbaggers are not seen that often, even in the height of their season. And in a particularly hot summer like we’ve had, they may not even come down for the fall. The last really big showing of the caterpillars was around 2014-15. But considering what else this year has held, we just might see more of them before the end of 2020.
The good news is, our most popular solution, Go Green Perimeter Plus will deter these caterpillars and most of the other creepy crawlies we see here in South Florida. We keep cockroaches, ants, spiders, silverfish and more out of your home, while keeping your family and pets safe with the most effective, green treatments.
If you’d like more information, or to schedule your first appointment with one of our expert technicians, just give us a call!