While this tiny critter might look fuzzy and cute, whatever you do don’t touch it! The puss moth caterpillar is the most toxic and deadly caterpillar in North America.
The “fuzz” is actually a collection of poisonous barbs that deliver a hazardous punch along with a painful “sting” when they break off and get stuck in human skin.
When Wyatt McCaskill, 7, was playing in his front yard in Horn Lake, Mississippi, he noticed a “cute” caterpillar and picked it up. He instantly noticed the pain…
“It felt like very bad pain,” the young boy told WMC Action News 5 in August 2015.
WITHIN MINUTES, THE PAIN SPREAD FROM HIS HAND TO HIS CHEST. THAT’S WHEN MOM, KELLI MCCASKILL, RUSHED HIM TO THE HOSPITAL.
Puss moth caterpillars live in trees and are found in the southern United States. They’re most common between July and November.
If you experience pain after dealing with one of these creatures, doctors say to use tape to remove any more poisonous spores. Wash he effected area with soap and water and treat with an ice pack. Visit a doctor or hospital if the pain gets worse.
“He is in the most pain I’ve ever seen him in,” notes McCaskill, who warns others to be careful. “Their sting can be more painful than a jellyfish, or any type of scorpion or bee,” she said.
WATCH THE USA TODAY REPORT (BELOW) FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THESE FUZZY CATERPILLARS.
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