Louisiana Caterpillar “Puss Moth” is Nothing to Laugh At
Sure, this caterpillar has a funny name, but if it gets a hold of you, you won't be laughing.
I don't know about you, but when I think of caterpillars, I certainly don't think of the Puss Moth. Instead, I think of those little harmless colorful ones that you used to let crawl all over you as a kid. Those caterpillars obviously cannot hurt you and are nothing to worry over. However, the caterpillar we're discussing in this article ain't no joke.
The Puss Moth caterpillar looks different, to say the very least. This caterpillar is covered in a coat of grayish-brown hairs, hair, unlike anything I've seen on a caterpillar before. Even though I've grown up in Louisiana, I've luckily never come across one of these in my life, even though they are found all over our state. Or maybe I have, and I assumed it was a random clump of hair and not a dangerous caterpillar.
This week, I randomly stumbled across an article all about this creepy crawler lsuagcenter.com, and I've been perplexed ever since. I've always been interested in bugs, especially strange ones like this. Thanks, Steve Irwin.
Anyways, unless you want an intense stinging pain or a long-lasting itch, steer clear from the Puss Mouth caterpillar. You can read the LSU AG Center's description of the Puss Mouth's sting below.
Puss caterpillar stings are instantaneously painful, quickly followed by localized pain that radiates toward regional lymph nodes. In the individual puncture sites that often become red, swollen and pustular (containing blisters on skin), making an outline of the caterpillar. Allergies to these stings have been documented, and persons stung should be watched for any potential anaphylactic reaction. Other symptoms that are documented include headache, fever, nausea, vomiting, heart arrhythmia (abnormal heart beat), hypotension (low blood pressure), acute abdominal pain and muscle spasms.