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Puss Caterpillars Exist in Florida, and They're Very Venomous

4:20 PM, Sep 13, 2018

Ever seen a Puss Caterpillar?

It’s the most venomous caterpillar in the country, and you can find them right here in Florida.

A Puss Caterpillar stung a 15-year-old boy in Land O’ Lakes, Florida near Tampa on Saturday while working in the yard. He said it felt like “fire” running up his arm. His folks took him to the ER for treatment.

After that his mom posted a Facebook story about the sting and the post spread quickly. So did the caterpillar’s venom.

They are usually found in citrus or oak trees, but can be seen anywhere. People get stunk by picking them up, or simply brushing past them. In some cases, caterpillars fell out of trees, landed on people, and stung them.

Their life cycle depends on the weather, food availability, and the number of parasites around. As it gets hotter, more might be hanging around.

If you do get stung, there is a home remedy. Put tape over the sting area, rip it off, and remove the spines before icing it to stop the stinging. And then apply on a paste of baking soda and water to slow the swelling.