BE AWARE this fuzzy caterpillar is the most venomous caterpillar. Show your kids.

BE AWARE this fuzzy caterpillar is the most venomous caterpillar. Show your kids.

Our daughter ran inside the house screaming non stop for a solid 45 minutes in severe pain like we haven’t ever heard before and we had no idea what was wrong. She has a high pain tolerance so this was very alarming to us. They were just playing in the front yard. She was in so much pain we thought she might have broke a bone. Then hours later I saw a asp (North America's most venomous caterpillar)so I showed the kids so they would know not to touch them. Van said he had saw one of those on the same bush Shelby was close to earlier. Come to find out she had been stung by a asp. So of course I stayed up all night researching asp and today I went all over our yard to find and kill them. I’m posting this because Houston has huge outbreak of asp right now so make sure your kids know to look around and don’t touch. When a human is stung by an asp, it can cause localized pain that is compared to blunt-force trauma or a bone break. Many people say the pain inflicted is worse than you would experience from a scorpion sting or contact with a jellyfish. In addition to being painful, exposure can cause a sudden reduction in blood pressure, seizures, headaches, nausea, vomiting, fever, low blood pressure, inflammation of lymph nodes and, in severe cases, abdominal distress, muscle spasms, convulsions, respiratory stress.

If you are allergic to insect venom, coming in contact with a fury puss caterpillar can send you into anaphylactic shock and may result in death.

After I made a post on my personal facebook page just trying to let my friends and family aware it went viral.  It's been shared over 6,000 times in just a few days.   So with all this I was receiving comments, messages, emails and texts from individuals who had recently been stung and were in pain, who were seeking information on how to deal with the stings. I realized that I had become morally responsible for sharing it, including the remedies hat had been shared with me, as those measures might be of help to others. It is in that spirit that the following materials are made available here. Please note that I am not a physician, and nothing in the following pages should be used to diagnose or treat a medical condition, or to replace or supplant advice provided by a medical professional. Just like starting a diet or exercise routine, it is always important to consult your doctor. 

So here is a few things I've learned from this experience.  The southern flannel moth, Megalopyge opercularis  the puss caterpillar, which is one of the most venomous caterpillars in the United States.  It is found from New Jersey to Florida and west to Arkansas and Texas. It is common in Florida but reaches its greatest abundance in Texas.  

In addition to being painful, exposure can cause a sudden reduction in blood pressure, vomiting and/or seizures.

If you are allergic to insect venom, coming in contact with a fury puss caterpillar can send you into anaphylactic shock and may result in death.

What to do if Stung


Sting victims reported that they gently pressed fresh, clean adhesive tape against the lesion, then lifted it off the skin. This is repeated, again with fresh, clean tape, several times. The kind of tape varied, but included SCOTCH brand magic mending tape, ordinary duct tape, and medical bandaging tape. Caution: using tape on ultra-sensitive skin is inadvisable; be very careful with Infants, children, and elders subject to skin tears.

Those who applied tape immediately after the sting occurred reported good to excellent results. Surprisingly, similar levels of pain relief were reported even when tape was applied hours or days following the sting event.

Ammonia can be used initially to neutralize the venom.

Flush the area with cold water and then wash with lukewarm water and soap. If you are stung, apply ice to numb the stinging.

How the asp Sting you.

Even though these caterpillars do not have a stinger like a wasp, hornet or bee, the injury they inflict is still called a sting.

In the place of a single ASP caterpillar sting, the ASP bug has a set of spines (urticaceous setae) covering the entire body.

The spines are hollow and each one is full of toxin, which is produced by poison gland cells, the source of the ASP sting.

You will only suffer from a sting if you pick one up or inadvertently brush against it.

When you do, the caterpillar may eject hairs or the hairs may break off and release toxins.

If the hairs penetrate your skin, or the toxin spills out onto the surface of your skin, you will feel pain.

Some of the reason why the outbreak of asp this year is high. 

Live oak trees lining sidewalks in the Texas Medical Center (TMC) -- which is visited by 10 million people seeking health care each year -- are routinely netted to discourage pesky birds such as grackles and pigeons. Now Rice researchers have learned the netting has an unintended consequence: Chasing away birds that eat insects has created a haven for a flourishing population of Megalopyge opercularis, commonly referred to as asps. 

How to control the outbreak and kill the asp

In most years, puss caterpillars are kept under control by natural enemies. If control measures are required, chemical insecticide or Bacillus thuringiensis applications recommended for control of other caterpillars should be effective.  But what you should know is by taking the chemical route you also kill off their natural enemies and studies have shown if you do this they will come back triple bad in the next years life cycle.  So you kill them all now but get three times the amount of them next year.  No thanks.  

Carefully knock the pests off plants when you see them and you can drop them into a bucket of soapy water.

Kill on contact. These caterpillars can also be killed on contact with a squirt of strong essential oil such as orange, cedar or rosemary.

Carry it in a small squeeze bottle and squirt it on the caterpillars as you find them.

When tackling a puss caterpillar infestation, follow these steps:

Protect Your Skin And Eyes

Wear proper protection for your skin and your eyes. This should include long sleeves and pants, goggles, heavy-duty rubber gloves and a broad-brimmed hat.

Understand that these caterpillars may drop out of the trees onto you while you are treating for them, so a hat with a wide brim is very important to prevent one from falling down the back of your shirt!

Check your clothing frequently while working and if you find one, drop it into a bucket of soapy water.

What Is The Best Puss Or Asp Caterpillar Treatment Strategy?

Vigilance, manual removal and working in concert with natural predators is the control method used by coffee growers in Central America.

They cannot use chemicals, which would contaminate the coffee beans.

Physical removal, vigilance and the use of natural predators is an effective combination of pest management methods when dealing with these caterpillars.

This is the option I went with because I wanted to get rid of as many as I could personally.  Also I wanted to kill anything that had given my baby that much pain.  So I set out the next morning on my mission with my essential oils in a spray bottle, completely dressed looking like a redneck bee keeper "ha" and long tweezers in hand.  This is how many I found and killed on the first day of just looking in my small front yard with 2 live oak trees. 




2 days ago I was at my son's school eating lunch with him and there was at least 12 asp on the outside of the cafeteria windows.  So you know there's a ton more outside.  These little things are everywhere, you just have to know what your looking for and that's why I feel like I have to share.  

Lomax Jr. HighLomax Jr. HighLomax Jr. High

I bet if you go look outside on your trees, bushes or grass you will find some and if you do let us know.


Heres a story about a Teen almost dies from caterpillar sting at wedding


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