Venomous puss caterpillar makes seasonal return to Florida

Reporter: Morgan Rynor
Published: Updated:

Pet owners who take their dogs to Rotary Park in Cape Coral are concerned about the venomous puss caterpillar, which is actually the most venomous in the United States according to National Geographic.

Solita King learned the hard when she put her hands on the back of a park bench and immediately felt a sting, “I thought it was a red ant, looked down and it was a furry little caterpillar,” saying the pain was agonizing.

“Almost felt like just a laceration… Almost like my hand was cut open and burning at the same time.” King acted quickly, taking benadryl, pain medication, and rushing herself to the hospital.

The doctor gave King a steroid shot in the arm which she said made the swelling go down, but  the pain lasted for about five hours.

She looked up tips online too advising to “Take some tape and some like packaging tape or duct tape and put it on your hand and peel it off you know that gets the little hairs out of there.”

Rotary Park employees say the furry spikes can still contain venom.

As soon as King called, the park employees began removing the deceiving caterpillars.

“I hope everybody is really careful and you know, stays away from these little critters,” she said, “Especially kids because they’re furry and I mean I could see a kid wanting to play with it,”

A good warning for adults and kids alike.

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