Caterpillars Sting

Did you know that caterpillars can sting?

I didn’t until it happened to me.

640px-Sycamore_Tussock_Moth_(Halysidota_harrisii)

It HURTS.  It was worse than the time I got stung by a jellyfish.  (Except, in this case, urine did nothing to ease the pain!)

Richie and I were sitting under the sycamore tree when I felt something crawling on my neck.  I flicked my hand and tried to swat whatever it was away.  It was just a caterpillar.

Just a caterpillar? I will never think those words again.

The caterpillar turned out to be a Sycamore Tussock Moth.  Little did I know that these cute fuzzy creatures can actually cause hives and other skin reactions.  

I had seen these caterpillars hundreds of times and not once had I had an issue with them.

Somehow I touched this one just right and I was plagued with the most painful, burning, itching rash for the next week.

Within minutes of being stung:

caterpillar sting

 

About 1 hour after being stung:

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The next morning:

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This happened back in July, but I have seen a lot of these caterpillars lately.  Be careful when you are sitting outside. This was SO painful!

If you do get a caterpillar on you, use a stick or piece of paper to carefully lift it off rather than swiping at it. If you get stung, use tape to remove the stingers.  I used a Benedryl cream to help with the itch and sting. It took a little over a week to heal completely.

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