Plants & Animals

Puss Caterpillar


Description A convex, stout-bodied larva, almost 1” long when mature, and completely covered with gray to brown hairs. Under the soft hairs are stiff spines that are attached to poison glands. When touched, these poisonous spines break off in the skin and cause severe pain. Most often found on oaks and citrus. In Florida there are two generations a year, one in spring and the other in fall.
Point of Injection -
Possible Symptoms Some people experience severe reactions to the poison released by the spines and require medical attention. Others experience only an itching or burning sensation.
Recommended Treatment Protocol 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. If the victim has a history of hay fever, asthma or allergy, or if allergic reactions develop, contact a physician immediately.