Scientists warn of venomous puss caterpillars in Florida

Puss caterpillar, Megalopyge opercularis.
Puss caterpillar, Megalopyge opercularis.(Donald W. Hall, University of Florida)
Published: Sep. 6, 2022 at 11:30 AM EDT
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Florida is home to many creepy crawlers but if you are out in central Florida, you may want to keep an eye out for the extremely venomous puss caterpillar.

Puss Caterpillars are most commonly seen in the fall months.

The caterpillars are covered in spikes and have orange streaks on their back. If you get stuck with a spike, you will be stung with a toxic white substance. The Fish and Wildlife Foundation of Florida says that should you find yourself stung by one of the creatures, you should immediately remove the spike and then hold an ice pack on the wound.

Cortisone and antihistamines can also help with stings. It’s important to reach out for medical assistance if the pain does not subside.

To learn more about puss caterpillars and the Fish and Wildlife Foundation of Florida, click here.