Over the course of thousands of years, humans have developed reflexes and learned which animals and other things to avoid.
Although the vast majority of animals are completely harmless to people, it is nevertheless advisable to use caution when you are outside.
Before she noticed the strange ball-shaped fuzzy creature, the day had been a routine family outing. Thats what Leslie Howe did when at a little park with her children.
In 2014, Georgian mother Leslie noticed a strange object close to her kids at the neighborhood playground. It had been a typical day out with the kids up until Leslie spotted a peculiar ball-shaped hairy creature.
The mother went with her gut. And it would prove to be a wise choice in the end. ”Feels like a wasp sting, but worse”
When the “fur ball” drew Leslie’s attention, she was in the park in Gwinnett County, Georgia, with her infant and two other young children. She felt a need to avoid it despite its modest size and first innocent-seeming appearance.
Even though this story was initially published a few years ago, it is again resurfacing online to alert all American parents to the threat.
Since that time, Leslie had hoped that by sharing her experience, others may be cautioned to avoid the suspicious fur ball, which was actually a Megalopyge Opercularis larva, also known as the puss caterpillar.
The name perhaps refers to how similar the caterpillar’s velvety fur is like that of a cat. The bug may inject venom, yet its exterior makes it appear innocuous. Hair covers the poisonous bristles underneath.
The majority of the US is home to these larvae, which can become up to around 1 inch in length. NPR said that they were “feasting on foliage in states between New Jersey and Florida and as far west as Texas.”
The puss caterpillar’s sting is extremely painful, therefore avoid touching it at all costs. They might stick to you and inject their venom if you do that.
”It feels like a wasp sting but worse. The pain hits immediately and gets worse after the creature sticks, and can even make your bones hurt. How badly it gets stuck depends on where it gets stuck and how many tags have dug into your skin. People who’ve had it stuck on their hands have reported feeling the pain up to their shoulders and it lasting for up to twelve hours,” ethnologist Don Hall told National Geographic, according to Expressen.
The puss caterpillar’s sting has surely hurt Eric Day, manager of Virginia Tech’s Insect ID Lab. He got stung by the strange-locking caterpillar while mowing the lawn at his house in the country in Virginia.
”The burning sensation went away in a day or so, but that blister and then subsequent kind of irritated area was visible for several weeks,” he recalled.
If this caterpillar stings you, you should carefully wash the area with soap and water after using tape to remove the deadly hairs. If the sting location starts to itch, the National Capital Poison Center advises using baking powder or hydrocortisone ointment to the area. In case it gets worse, get medical help.
Puss caterpillars are very rarely deadly, but the sting could cause anaphylaxis, which can be life-threatening.
Take a look at the unusual and mysterious caterpillar here:
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