x
Breaking News
More () »

Stay away: Florida's puss caterpillar is one of the most venomous insects in the US

The caterpillars are covered in hair-like bristles and have an orange streak running down their back, according to the Fish and Wildlife Foundation of Florida.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — It may be only an inch long, but you should still be sure to stay away from puss caterpillars in Florida.

These small insects are one of the country's most venomous creatures, according to the nonprofit Fish and Wildlife Foundation of Florida.

The caterpillars are covered in hair-like bristles and have an orange streak running down their back, the Fish and Wildlife Foundation of Florida stated on its website.

Extremely toxic spines from the insect can stick to people's skin and are hidden among its hair. 

"Stings can be incredibly painful, radiating throughout the body," the nonprofit organization said. "It is recommended to get the spines out of your skin as soon as possible with the aid of cellophane tape."

If anyone happens to be stung by these critters, hydrocortisone cream, ice packs or oral antihistamine can be used to help ease the pain, according to the Fish and Wildlife Foundation of Florida. 

Puss caterpillars can also be found in New Jersey, Arkansas and Texas. The population numbers for the insect can change depending on the weather, number of parasites around and food availability. 

In the sunshine state, it is most common to see the insects during the fall and spring on elm and oak trees, the nonprofit organization says. 

"While these interesting insects and their attractive larvae may catch your eye when exploring wild Florida, it is important to exercise caution around them," the Fish and Wildlife Foundation of Florida said on its website.

To learn more about puss caterpillars and the Fish and Wildlife Foundation of Florida, click here.

Paid Advertisement

Before You Leave, Check This Out