Experiencing throbbing pain, rash, and a burning sensation after accidentally getting in contact with a caterpillar? These signs and symptoms aren’t just from any type of caterpillar, but the most dangerous stinging caterpillar in the United States, the puss caterpillar. When stung with this caterpillar, it is wise to have it treated immediately to experience relief from symptoms and prevent systemic spreading of the venom.
Puss Caterpillar Sting
- The puss caterpillar is also known as Megalopyge opercularis.
- This type of caterpillar is more popularly known as asps.
- Puss caterpillars are considered one of the most toxic types of caterpillars in North America.
- They are teardrop in shape and have long silky hair. From a distance, these caterpillars look like tufts of cotton or fur.
- The color of this caterpillar varies from gray to yellow to reddish brown.
- Contact reactions occur when the hairs of this caterpillar becomes embedded on human skin.
Puss Caterpillar Sting Symptoms
- Throbbing pain
- Burning sensation
- Erythematous spots
In severe cases:
- abdominal pain
- respiratory distress
Puss Caterpillar Sting Treatment for Local Reactions
- Place a tape over the site and pull off to remove the caterpillar’s embedded hairs.
- Apply calamine lotion or baking soda slurry to soothe the burning sensation.
- Apply cold compress over the site to relieve the pain.
How to Treat a Systemic Puss Caterpillar Sting
- Treatment is symptomatic or palliative.
- The goal is to keep the patient as comfortable as possible while the toxins are being removed from the body.
- Severe reactions are treated like other insect stings.