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Toxic “Toupee”: Explaining the Most Venomous Caterpillar in the U.S.

No warm and fuzzy here—a possible boom in a highly toxic but irresistibly touchable caterpillar is sending people in the eastern U.S. to the hospital.

Young children from Florida to North Carolina are reporting excruciating pain after coming into contact with the most venomous caterpillar in the U.S., the furry puss caterpillar (Megalopyge opercularis), according to news reports. Some have petted the insect; others have been injured when the caterpillars fell onto them from trees.

The puss caterpillar got its name because it resembles a cuddly house cat, said University of Florida entomologist Don Hall. While these insects may look soft, their outer comb-over (which some have compared to a toupee or the coif of Donald Trump) hides small, extremely toxic spines that stick in your skin. (Read more about venom in National Geographic magazine.)

Photo of a puss caterpillar feeding on winged elm leaf.
A puss caterpillar feeds on a winged elm leaf. Photograph by Donald W. Hall, University of Florida

“A puss caterpillar sting feels like a bee sting, only worse. The pain immediately and rapidly gets worse after being stung, and can even make your bones hurt,” Hall said.

“How bad the sting hurts depends on where you get stung and how many spines are embedded in your skin. People who have been stung on the hand say the pain can radiate up to their shoulder and last for up to 12 hours,” Hall said.

Caterpillar Boom and Bust

This species naturally goes through boom-and-bust cycles, and populations can rise and fall dramatically based on weather, food availability, and the number of parasites around, Hall said. (See “How ‘Zombie’ Virus Liquifies Caterpillar Hosts.”)

The furry puss caterpillar population seems to be on the rise, which may explain why so many people are being stung now, he added.

Hall has been stung himself several times, mostly by young caterpillars that he’s raised in his garage—juveniles generally have fewer spines than older, fuzzier insects.

Although there are no defined medical procedures if you do get stung by a puss caterpillar, Hall recommends covering the area with cellophane tape and then ripping it off to remove any spines that remain in the wound, which will help decrease the pain.

Poop Throwers

Female flannel moths (what puss caterpillars become as adults) covers her eggs with hairs from the tip of her own abdomen. “Those hairs are not venomous, but presumably protect the eggs from natural enemies in some way,” Hall said.

They fling their poop away from their bodies. Hall believes that behavior prevents parasites from being attracted to the feces and potentially harming the caterpillars themselves. (Also see “Scat-Firing Caterpillars Elude Predators.”)

A poop-throwing, toupee-wearing caterpillar that can send you to the hospital—what will Mother Nature think of next?

Follow Carrie Arnold on Twitter and Google+.



  1. Beatrice Luna
    Houston Texas
    November 18, 11:38 am

    We just saw one this morning. Early thanksgiving week. It was a bit whiter. All i did was spray with big killer.

  2. Paul De Lara
    Keller, Tx
    November 6, 3:00 pm

    Meena! You wererrrrrrr, so fortunate not to have been stung. Nevertheless, I was nettled on my left arm many years past as a teen. Recently I saw one in Fairfield Bay, Arkansas and I respectfully told it, “I will respect your presence, not smashing you, remembering how your Texas cousin basically paralyzed my left arm leaving me for the day feeling as if high on some drug with pain, laughing at times. So what is fuss about the Puss? Well, let not your finger curiously brush.

  3. Vanessa
    November 4, 1:22 am

    I was stung in a Romanian Orthodox church today, but I held in my pain as I did not want to interrupt my father. It was on my forearm constantly stinging me. I had two cups of spice wine and cabbage rolls afterwards. I am sitting down, alert and awake from the pain. Lidocaine does not take this dull, aching, burning pain away. It initially moved up my forearm to my shoulders, and I would say it feels like I have an I.V. drip of poison going through my veins- aching my bones while my skin is on fire to no end. Cigarettes and laughing are helping.

  4. Chase
    Denton, TX
    October 27, 3:37 pm

    I got stung by one of these on my leg. It had traveled inside on my shorts, and when I sat down I put my full weight into it. The pain was instant!! I felt the pain growing, and moving up my leg through my pelvis and up to my stomach. Luckily it didn’t travel much higher has it was already effecting my breathing and heart rate. I laid on the floor for hours and hours in absolutely the worst pain ever. I have broken bones, and this was worse minus the healing time. I felt like bones were snapping, and the pain continued to last in my joints and bones for up to three days. DO NOT TOUCH THESE! they are not to be taken lightly.

  5. Tina Howe
    October 17, 7:17 pm

    My 6 year old grandson was stung by an asp today at school before lunch. It’s been hours and he is still in so much pain. The pain comes in waves where he just screams and is unconsolable. We used tape to remove hairs, gave him Benadryl, Advil, used an ice pack and ended up at the pediatrician. They said we were doing everything that could be done. This catapillar is bad news.

  6. Beth Pianori
    Arlington, TX
    October 13, 2:39 pm

    My six year old was stung by one of these last week on a family camping trip in Benbrook, TX. Her elbow came into contact with it and she immediately started screaming hysterically. This little girl is tough and I’ve never seen her hysterically shaking like this. I didn’t know what it was but had come prepared for bites and stings with a small homeopathic kit. I immediately gave her 3 pellets of Ledum 30 to take internally and gave her a dose every 5 minutes. I saved the last and 4th dose for 15 min later. I had no bentonite clay / baking soda on hand or tape where we were so the Ledum had to do. Within the first 5 min I saw the hysterics disappear, then the pain began to diminish and finally the large red, raised mark and all the smaller ones around it disappear an hour later. She said the pain radiated to her armpit at the time. I’m glad I had my Ledum 30 on me or it would have made for a bad first camping experience for my little ones. You can buy this cheap and effective remedy at several natural grocery stores. I am so glad we had it for this painful, venomous creature’s sting!

  7. Sarah
    October 10, 11:02 pm

    One had somehow come in my house and was on my shoe. Went to grab my shoes to leave and felt a sting on my hand. Dropped my shoes and one of these evil furballs fell out. Got my ring finger. Swelled so much I had to go have my wedding rings cut off after an hour. Five hrs later I’m still in so much pain & so swollen.

  8. kdara
    October 10, 10:01 pm

    I accidentally leaned my entire body weight on one this past weekend, the entire caterpillar pressed into my bare leg. The pain was the most excruciating I have ever felt…radiating pain into my spine and stomach. I went to the ER and they had to IV me: morphine, fentanyl and then dilaudid and it was only 80% better. Stay the F AWAY from those hairy beasts.

  9. Tammy Copsetta
    Burnet Texas
    October 6, 8:47 pm

    Daughter just got stung by one and she’s one tough cookie but this made her completely freak out screaming in pain and it hurt all the way up her arm into her armpit, severe pain..been almost an hr I’m getting it.and still in massive pain…tried everything they’ve said

  10. Edward Newton
    Fort Worth, Tx.
    October 5, 2:20 pm

    I got stung on the back of my neck last Tuesday (my 65th birthday). They are also known as asp catapillars. We grew up around them and have been stung many times as a kid. It feels like someone put out a lit cigarette on you. Luckly i knew to apply a paste of baking soda and water. If not treated it can cause your limph nodes to ache.

  11. Stephanie
    October 3, 12:54 am

    Pain subsides within an hour
    Pull barbs off with tape
    Baking soda and water paste
    Its a pain i cant explain i got stung on the leg i cant walk its easily the worst pain i have ever felt in my life evil little chetto looking like creature of pain and suffering. Judt know ull be in pain for a LONG WHILE its been 4 hours and im in throbbing pain cant move ma leg.

  12. Abbey
    New Orleans, LA
    September 30, 7:39 pm

    I gripped my parsley plant to remove it from the container garden on our deck. I definitely yelped if not shrieked from the initial sting. It’s been about 90 minutes and 600mg of ibuprofen and it’s still insanely intense.
    I did the tape and alcohol and ice too…
    It’s really just unbelievable – the ache. An unrelenting Charlie horse in my hand and wrist.

  13. Jennifer R Brown
    Florida, United States
    September 29, 2:23 pm

    I just came acrosd this critter a few minutes ago on my lawn chair. I’m scared of bugs, critters, and such, so I didn’t touch it. Now learning what this is. I’m sorry I didn’t killed it. Now I’ll be very much alert since I have my grandson who is four years old living with me.
    Went back outside to try and locate but was unable to do so. 🙁

  14. Tracey
    United States
    September 20, 5:28 pm

    I am in Maryland and think we just found one on the moulding around our front door . It is dark brown. Wish I could post a pic. If there is one, does that mean there are more?

  15. Phil Morris
    September 13, 10:53 pm

    why the hell is he ‘raising them in his garage’ ?

  16. Robert
    United States
    September 8, 2:17 pm

    Just found one in my garden. At first I was going to catch and release until I read the comments. went back out and relocated the little fuzzy guy and killed it.

  17. Crazy Aunt B
    Washington, North Carolina
    September 4, 5:12 pm

    Just found one of these critters on my mailbox last week. I have a garden flag behind my mailbox so I poked at it a little. I thought it went away… then I noticed a cocoon in my mailbox and after I read what this was today but a friend pointed out to me said cocoon got thrown in the fire ants and then they all got sprayed with bug poison. I have no time for a severe allergic reaction like I did with the fire ants years ago.

  18. Lynn melendez
    Orlando Florida
    September 2, 3:03 pm

    I just came in contact with one and I’m telling u the pain is horrible at clinic they gave me a steroid shot and to take Benadryl and ibuprofen it feels like you stuck your hand in a beehive 10 times worse it is swelling and throbbing .. they want me to take Prednisones . I am not sure if is necessary yet . I can’t afford the extra weight that comes from it but if need to will do. I will keep all posted by tomorrow to let you know ..

  19. Sharon L Disney
    August 12, 1:04 pm

    One fell on my husband Thursday. Thank goodness he didnt get stung. He suffers from Asthma and just had 4 heart attacks with 2 stents. Why have we here in Maryland not heard about them. The one here was red but looks just like the pictures. What are we to do when or if we come upon another one. This is scarry we hace small children under 2 in our neighborhood. Please someone let me know. If they are known in Texas and Florida how did it get to Maryland. Do they turn to a moth or butterfly?

  20. Jj
    August 12, 7:08 am


  21. Tiffni
    July 12, 1:27 am

    Got stung by one Monday afternoon when I grabbed the back of the patio chair. Worst pain ever. Dizzy, swelling pain traveled up my arm and into my chest. Pain last for almost 18 hours. Stay clear of these. I would say it was like sticking my arm into a beehive and being attacked by 100+ bees.

  22. Birgit
    June 17, 10:01 am

    why are there NO PICTURES of how a wounding of such critters looks like on a Human??

  23. Jeffrey E Fish
    United States
    January 30, 4:21 pm

    Got hit by one so bad I was trembling and cramping with severe puking after I reached up with a chain saw in an oak and exposed my arm pit. I leaned into it and man o man. I’m an arborist and have been hurt by many things but that evil little fury demon had me layed out in agony on my truck seat for half a day. The next day my arm pit looked like a grapefruit was in it.

  24. Maria
    North Miami, FL
    December 8, 2016, 3:40 pm

    Got stung 2 hrs ago. I’m in pain! Got stung right above my elbow. Felt one big pinch and pain went immediately up my arm all the way to my arm pit. Now my hand feels weird, fingers tingle, spams come and go…. WOW! Worst than cramps!

  25. Toby Gaudin
    Oviedo, Florida
    December 3, 2016, 8:26 pm

    Was wrapping Christmas lights around oak tree and fuzzy fell on my right arm, bouncing down in 3 places. I am a pest control professional and have been stung by wasps, bees; a scorpion, bitten by several different spider species. None of those were anywhere near as painful as the excruciating pain I felt for 6 hours after. This is a seriously dangerous critter. WOW!

  26. Shelia
    United States
    November 27, 2016, 10:11 pm

    Hmm!!! Instead of Black Friday shopping I was in my back yard trimming plants, then decided to move to another area when under my forearm begain to sting, burning I tried to wait until I was finish in that area. I couldn’t the pain begain to get intense. I went inside clean area with peroxide wipe off, then alcohol wipe off it was burning about the time I got the gel benedryle. Thought I would be ok I went back outside now my right hand felt the same way, I went inside did same procedure not knowing what had bitten me, thinking it was a wasp. My son and I was standing in my kitchen when this fuzzy strange thing fell off me on the kitchen floor. We both said what is that? It was nothing I’ve ever seen, had me concern saying lets save it could be poison. True enough three days later I found out it was a puss catipillar still have me baffled.

  27. Maria Arceo
    United States
    November 23, 2016, 5:14 am

    Thank goodness we don’t have these (or snakes) here in Hawaii. My heart goes out to all who have been stung. It sounds horrible!

  28. Pedro Miguel Hecht
    United States
    November 18, 2016, 10:12 pm

    Got stung about 1 hr ago, started as a “painful itch” on my earlobe, went to the restroom to check, and my ear appears like an MMA fighters ear, while checking, stayed feeling pain on my neck, long story short, took the T-shirt off and 2 of these Satan spawns where crawling on my neck, yes it hurts…

  29. Robyn
    October 28, 2016, 2:51 pm

    Just sat on one… Didn’t know til my upper thigh began stinging… Took a shower… Pain seems to be getting worse but rapid breathing has subsided. Sure hoping pain goes away soon. Was the Clorox comment legit?

  30. Kevin
    October 24, 2016, 7:49 am

    External application of a 50/50 solution of Clorox laundry bleach (not gel) and water to the stung area provides immediate relief. Straight Clorox is even better but be sure to flush it with water after a minute to keep from getting chemical burn. May have to reapply once or twice after a couple of minutes. DO NOT TAKE INTERNALLY.

  31. Jeff Bricmont
    United States
    October 23, 2016, 7:13 pm

    Thought I was stung by a scorpion today, but in poking through the leaf trash barrel where I was stung, found no arachnids, but did find a puss cat. Six hours later, it still feels like my thumb was smashed with a sledgehammer. NOT something I would recommend.

  32. Cory
    Beaumont TX
    October 15, 2016, 3:02 pm

    Today I was outside talking and I went in because my dad said for me to wash the dishes so I did and I went back out to give my dad some water and I came in and sat down for 2 minutes I felt something on my side of my neck and I touched it and hit it off it must have got scared when I realized it was on me because it was on me for a while I think I hit it off and my neck started Scratching and itching So I grabbed alcohol to heal it but it burned still so ice seems to help the most with it though

  33. Kemal
    San Jac south campus
    October 4, 2016, 12:37 pm

    I was sitting on the bench in the campus then i got stung or I touch it accidentally but I didn’t want to try to touch it then I got terrible pain on my arm and redness

  34. Meena
    October 1, 2016, 4:13 pm

    I just happened upon the Puss Caterpillar for the first time in my backyard. It was so cute; I naturally petted it gently a couple of times. I mean them no harm and he/she knew that.

    I moved the Puss to the tree using a magazine.

    I then looked the caterpillar up. Apparently,those hairs can be painful.They are just protecting themselves if provoked.

    I truly believe, if you have no ill intent, they will not hurt you.
    All creatures deserve to live their lives out without our human intervention.

  35. Kathryn mouton
    Metairie Louisiana
    September 25, 2016, 8:45 pm

    These critters have been crawling all over my back porch for a week or so. Didn’t try to touch them, but they still stung me on my nerves arm and inner wrist. Terrible pain, then terrible itching. But even tho the marks are still visible, no more symptoms from these two bites. Then last Thursday somehow they caught me on my palm. Again, pain, then fierce itching. I still didn’t know what they were. Found out from a “bug man” on Friday. I’m still scratching. Using Benadryl stop itching cream and Ice pack.

  36. Liana LeFey
    Austin, TX
    September 22, 2016, 11:47 pm

    My daughter found one of these little guys today on a bush by our front walk, and we thought it was so cute we got a jar & took it inside. We both touched it, nobody got stung, she named it, we fed it some leaves…and then I looked it up to see what kind of butterfly it would become. HA! We were very lucky not to get stung. Cute little things, look just like Tribbles, but not something I want to tangle with. Worst part is, I went back out and checked, and the entire bush where we found it is FULL of them.

  37. Charles conder
    September 19, 2016, 4:35 pm

    Just found one on a tarp I put over a couch yesterday before the rain. They breath heavily when u blow on them lol. Didn’t know what it was and almost got stung. Decided to look it up first. Wow thank goodness I did that. Did not want to end up in hospital today!!!

  38. Adriana
    Manvel, Texas
    July 28, 2016, 10:56 am

    I got stung by one of these yesterday in Pearland and I was getting some branches off a tree for a room DIY and one branch had something that look like this and I had excruciating pain for like 3 hours and then pain just went away. I didn’t cry and I’m only 10

  39. Devin Brooks
    United States
    July 22, 2016, 8:08 am

    I was working for a company that installed directv systems in florida some years back and the house I was setting up in had literally hundreds of these things all over it. Nobody knew what they were. Luckly nobody touched one.

  40. Richard Cera
    Friendswood Texas
    July 4, 2016, 7:56 pm

    My wife and I were in the back yard and she sat down on our bench, her leg landed on that f@#king bug(3:48 pm 7/4/16) she has been in pain for more then 2 hrs. Her skin welted up, turn reddish, pain that spread from under the thigh to the top and outward,it has also caused leg spasms. The pain she said is like a bee sting but a hundred times worst.There is a mark the shape of the puss caterpillar on her thigh. For treatment I have used: warm shower for opening the pores, tape for the hair/spine, ice for the swelling, Tecnu bite & sting wipe, Extra strength Benadryl cream for allergic reaction and tylenol extra strength for the pain. The pain is really bad for her because she is a small woman. Please note if stung do not move to much it causes the poison to spread faster. She has finally gone to sleep after much crying from the pain and agony (3hr) her spasms have stopped along will the swelling. I hope that it will go a way when she wakes up cross my fingers…..I hope the treatment helps any one that reads this, good luck to all you will need it.

  41. Genny Mikel
    March 29, 2016, 6:31 pm

    The sting is just their way of protecting themselves kinda like we use our fists.

  42. Shari Monetta
    November 27, 2015, 11:15 am

    Just got stung, on right palm, playing with my cat, it was on the side of my oak tree.
    Instant pain. Did the Tape, Ice and Benadryl. Dr’s office is closed.

  43. Lana
    November 16, 2015, 10:06 pm

    I touched one multiple times the other day. Was as soft as a kitten. I picked it up to move it to grass and look at it’s tummy. Didn’t sting me at all. Didn’t even know it was venomous until I looked it up online later.

  44. Victoria
    October 29, 2015, 12:26 am

    I found one of these cuties climbing on my pumpkin on the front porch. I had no idea what kind of caterpillar it was, I just thought it was the coolest and cutest caterpillar ever. I decided to pick it up, I took it inside to show my family and then I returned it back outside. While holding him, I decided to goggle what kind of caterpillar it was. Guess what kind of caterpillar it was!? Yep, a Puss caterpillar!! I’m so lucky that it had mercy on me and he never did hurt me. Yikes!!

  45. Melissa
    Manassas, VA
    August 29, 2015, 12:14 am

    Came in contact with one of these things today while doing yard work and it had to be one of the more frightening experiences I’ve had during those sort of chores! Had no idea what the heck bit/stung me until I looked online and noticed the welt on my arm resembled those these things leave.

    Got lucky though, only brushed against it a little so got the welts, the rash and pain but none of the worse symptoms. None of the stingers got stuck in my skin. If you touch one be sure to clean it with water, ice it and take a benadryl. That’s how I kept it from irritating me so I only had to deal with the pain for an hour. After that everything has subsided since then. Be careful!

  46. Denise321
    Nola, Louisiana
    August 26, 2015, 10:40 pm

    Holy cow! I was stung this afternoon by one of these evil things! Why did Mother Nature make these?? Joking, but not really…
    Thought it was a leaf on a chair, so as I grabbed the chair it got me in the palm of my hand. I used the tape trick, washed it, slapped a little antibiotic ointment on, then numbing spray. It felt ‘tolerable’ after an hour or two.
    It actually hurts more now than 4 hours ago. Feels like a throbbing, burning, cramping charlie horse in my hand and down my fingers. Tiny soft ice packs are helping greatly.

    Beware! They blend in very well. We have seen them mostly on our porch table which is wooden. I had never seen these before this year. I’m curious to know if they’ve they always been around or is their presence on the rise, and if they can harm pets.

  47. Joe
    July 31, 2015, 3:08 pm

    I just got stung about an hour ago by one of those little caterpillars and the pain is BAD. in between two of my fingers on my right hand, and the pain goes all the way through my armpit. it is a bone hurt kind of pain. I am not shy to pain and usually am able to work through it pretty well but I assure you those caterpillars hurt

  48. donna santos
    central FL
    July 3, 2015, 11:47 pm

    Andrew Howley, that is exactly what I was thinking! Tiny tribbles! Just saw my first one today on my horse fence… which makes me wonder, can they poison the horses or our puppies if they go nosing around them? Yikes! Just moved to florida and first it was fire ants,not a fan. Then it was huntsmen, wolf, black and brown widow spiders. Also not a fan. Then rattle snakes in the hen house. Not cool. Now poisonous caterpillars… I’m thinking CT snow and ice doesn’t look so bad anymore!

  49. Charlotte Zima
    Kingwood, Texas
    July 3, 2015, 12:58 am

    In Texas we have had them since I was a teen growing up and my sister was stung by one and it almost caused her death as it’s toxin is so poisonous. We call them asps and they are much darker in black mostly or brown black. But everything else about it is the same..

  50. Amber A
    Gaithersburg, MD
    June 28, 2015, 5:44 am

    The caterpillars are in Maryland as well. At least western Maryland. I have been stung by the puss caterpillar that fell out of a tree in Oldtown, Maryland. It was he most intense burning, left the patterned like rash on my hand. It was worse than a wasp sting, even worse than getting your feet bit up by fire ants.

  51. Jhon
    June 11, 2015, 4:26 pm

    i just got stung,on my head!!! the best treatment is to stay in a cold place with ice on the bite part. it reduces the concentration of the bite since the sensation of venom is hot it needs hot environment to hurt more as in the cold it will relieve it.

  52. Robbie
    May 1, 2015, 6:42 am

    Who cares what it is called, “puss or asp”. The point is it is a painfully mean little caterpillar. Knowing what to do when you encounter this creature is what’s important.

  53. rick
    lafayette la.
    December 1, 2014, 2:04 pm

    I accidently had one sing me on elbow last night. I didn’t see it until I felt this tremendous burning sensation on my elbow. Looked down on sofa and saw this little animal. Long story short- the pain lasted for about 4 hours. First hour very intense pain then subsided. Google it and did the treatment and positively identified creature. 59 y.o. and had never heard of this ltitle beast.

  54. Christian
    san Antonio texas
    November 24, 2014, 5:42 pm

    My wife just got stung at the park about 20 min ago when she leaned up against one on the pickknic table. She’s doing OK mainly due to it stinging her through her clothes. I got at ng by a defferant species as a kid on the rest while at the river and let me tell you its in the top three worst pains of my life.

  55. Aries
    November 22, 2014, 10:33 am

    I saw one at a elementary school I volunteared at and I touched it but I was fine afterwards I was tempted to put it somewhere the kids wouldn’t play with it but when I moved some of its hair around I noticed it had a maggot looking body so I just left it

  56. phil
    October 27, 2014, 5:23 am

    Those soft supple leather light tan gardening gloves (with the little red plastic balls on the cuff strings), commonly sold in many stores, are perfect protection against the puss if you have to fiddle with or climb trees. Also good to wear these when grabbing planks around the woodshop where fiddleback spiders may be lurking on the underside.

  57. Pearl
    Atlanta Ga
    October 11, 2014, 12:37 am

    I saw one of these yesterday it was on the side of my house just sitting there, I froze in place when I saw it, it scared the hazelnuts out of me. I’ve never seen or heard of this creature in all the 54 years of my life, and it was huge and extremly furry. It really creeped me out mainly because I didn’t know what it was I took a picture of it and posted it on Facebook a friend of mine informed me of what it was then I googled it to try to learn everything I could about it. Very interesting creature

  58. sooz
    October 7, 2014, 5:17 pm

    I think some people are missing the part regarding which stage is laying the eggs. The statement Mr. Hall made is this, “Female flannel moths (what puss caterpillars become as adults) covers her eggs with hairs from the tip of her own abdomen.” He is stating that the ‘moth’ covers her eggs with hairs, not the caterpillar.

  59. Don Hall
    Gainesville, FL
    September 29, 2014, 10:52 pm

    Obviously I did not make some things clear in my interview with Carrie. If you will go to to my web site on the puss caterpillar, many of your questions will be answered. Also, I have photos of all of the life stages there. The URL is:

  60. Susan
    September 21, 2014, 3:06 am

    Judson, that’s “puss,” as in “Puss In Boots,” not “pus,” like what comes from an infected sore.

  61. Amber
    September 20, 2014, 5:24 pm

    “Puss” as in another word for cat, Judson, not as in infected ooze.

  62. Edgar Ushap
    London Uk
    September 20, 2014, 3:42 pm

    Uy careful with this guy, its pretty dangerous. The lint that is a mask covering his entire body and is covered in hghly venomous barbs. Also living in eastern Ecuador sona practically what the Amazonian area. In large scale can be seen in the summer the place is from June to October. Their diet is vegetable.

  63. Angelo Sastre
    Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental Philippines
    September 20, 2014, 12:18 pm

    LOL.. . It looks like a pokemon 🙂 🙂 🙂

  64. Myra Binnicker
    Central Florida
    September 20, 2014, 7:33 am

    My husband was up in a tree with a chainsaw when one of these fell down his shirt, and it rolled down his back. He had stings from his neck to his waste. He had to immediately shut off the chainsaw and climb down. He said it was intense pain; his stomach was cramping; he was dizzy; he was sweating. There were welts everywhere it had touched. It lasted the rest of the day.

  65. Oscar Fonseca
    September 20, 2014, 1:48 am

    esta oruga le llamamos acá en ecuador gusano pachón o gusano de pollo por temporada de invierno hay muchas si me han picado es muy doloroso.. El bello es muy toxico esa picazon dura un par de días..

  66. Bobbie. Lemley Williams
    Christiansburg, VA
    September 19, 2014, 9:27 pm

    Have any of them made their way into VA? If so, where? From being a “tomboy” as a child, I KNOW I WOULD HAVE PICKED ONE UP. LOL, I sure that it would be one time only. What size are they compared to the wooly ones(black & redish brown) that people use to determine what kind of winter we are going to have?

  67. Dan Boyd
    Nebo, North Carolina
    September 19, 2014, 4:33 pm

    herbs n plants that contain : turpine an cineol is what i have used for the sting of the puss caterpillar. I recommend Tea Tree Oil, Benadryl,after you remove spines with tape.You can buy Tea Tree at most Drug Stores. I believe if Doctors knew this first hand like i do they would have some Essentials Oils in the ER. just saying i hope this post helps someone,and if it is a child God Bless !!!!!!

  68. Gordon Cariveau
    September 19, 2014, 12:01 pm

    You may call them asp but an asp is a small venomous snake from egypt not a furry caterpillar.

  69. Judson bagwell
    September 19, 2014, 10:56 am

    “The puss caterpillar got its name because it resembles a cuddly housecat”, did no one notice this? Puss and cuddles are not similar things.

  70. Bob Bailey
    September 19, 2014, 10:55 am

    I remember them when I was a kid. We called them asp. You can hold them in your palm and pet them with a finger and not get stung.

  71. Terrell Dean
    September 19, 2014, 10:00 am

    By looking at the comments people obviously don’t read…. Read the article and it tells you plain as day what the caterpillar becomes as an adult, geesh… Glad I don’t see these things in my city.

  72. Carrie Arnold
    September 19, 2014, 9:49 am

    Thanks for your eagle eyes on the female caterpillars laying eggs. It’s the adult female flannel moths that do that- I’ve made the corrections in the text.

  73. vincent joseph
    india hyderabad ap.
    September 19, 2014, 9:48 am

    After removing the spines by cellow sticky tapeplace another sticky tape over the wound contact and phone for medical tretement from a docotor or a chemist and see
    A reguar doctor for pian and sweeling along the wound treatment cold or hot water swabs till cured and good luck …..

  74. Barbara Halbert
    United States
    September 19, 2014, 9:29 am

    I thought caterpillars turn into moths or butterflies? How do they lay eggs if they are still a caterpillar?

  75. Must C
    September 19, 2014, 9:27 am

    What, no video of the poop-flinging?! I am disappoint…

  76. van
    September 19, 2014, 8:35 am

    what does the adult look like ?

  77. Jarrod
    Nashville, TN
    September 19, 2014, 8:25 am

    I’m confused… “Female Puss Caterpillars use their spines to protect their eggs from ants and other predators”… I don’t think eggs would be laid until the moth stage, do they still have stinging spines when they’re a moth (called a flannel moth as an adult)?

  78. randy hanson
    September 19, 2014, 7:13 am

    the article says they protect their eggs,…… since when do catapillars lay eggs?

  79. Kelly M
    September 19, 2014, 6:44 am

    “Female puss caterpillars use the spines to protect their eggs from ants and other predators”

    I don’t know what is meant by this statement; caterpillars don’t lay eggs. Adult moths do.

  80. corinna marriott
    September 19, 2014, 5:30 am

    Pretty sure caterpillars don’t lay eggs…that would be the moth/butterfly does that.

  81. Tham Ze King
    September 19, 2014, 4:43 am

    Will all caterpillars turning into butterfly?
    How does the butterfly this one turn into look like?

  82. Bryony Collins
    September 19, 2014, 4:06 am

    We have something similar over here called the Pine Processionary Caterpillar. http://web.cortland.edu/fitzgerald/pineprocessionary.html

  83. Jonathan
    Manila, philippines
    September 19, 2014, 3:45 am

    I was just wondering… What do they become when they grow into adulthood?

  84. CLARIA
    September 18, 2014, 5:36 pm


  85. Frank Cowan
    Denver, co.
    September 17, 2014, 2:31 pm

    In the south they were always called an “asp”. Been stung several times trimming trees like Red Buds.

  86. Andrew Howley
    September 17, 2014, 11:40 am

    And now we finally understand the real trouble with tribbles.