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Poisonous Caterpillars

Discussion in 'Bush Medicine' started by Medic17, Oct 8, 2017.

  1. Medic17

    Medic17 Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    I have been doing a good deal of camping with the family this past month.

    Came across this little bugger...

    [​IMG]

    I knew some caterpillars are poisonous but not sure which ones.
    My gut told me to stay away and I was right.

    After a bit of searching its a Hickory Tussock Moth Caterpillar.

    It's toxic.

    Exposure can cause a contact dermatitis, similar to urushiol (Poison Ivy).
    The rash looks very similar to a contact with poison ivy.

    The little tiny barbs on their back dig into the skin.
    Real nasty if they get in the mouth or eyes. -You will need a doctor.

    Treatment is similar to Poison Ivy.
    But- You can try to remove the microscopic hairs with strong tape or bikini style waxing.
    Antihistamines (Benadryl) and Hydrocortisone will help the itch.
    Steroids may be needed for heavier exposure.

    On a similar note
    A product called Zanfel is AWESOME for Poison Ivy.
    My daughter got a bad case of it and it really helped the symptoms.
    Its expensive. $30 But worth every penny.
     
  2. MrFixIt

    MrFixIt Old Jarhead Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    My grandmother used to tell me to leave caterpillars alone if they were fuzzy and crawled around in the open. Most likely a danger...
     
  3. Pastor Chris

    Pastor Chris Hardwoodsman #7 Hobbyist Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass II

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    Seen a few of those around this autumn too. I wasn’t sure but we tend to leave them alone.

    Thanks for the good info as always!
     
  4. Medic17

    Medic17 Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Yeah I found this little critter odd, every time I saw one they were right out in the open.
    You spotted them from several yards away. That is what made me give them stink eye....
     
  5. WILL

    WILL Scout

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    I've been hit by a scorpion, hornets, wasps, fire ants, you name the stinging insect. They are all uncomfortable, but by far the worst was the fuzzy caterpillar. I was clearing brush and must have gotten into a hive of them because I ended up with about a dozen swollen track marks all over both my arms. I didn't even understand what caused it until I found one still crawling on me 1/2 hour later. I got dizzy, nauseous and generally felt like I was going to die for like two hours. It was NOT like poison ivy. It sat me down like no other insect had ever before. Stepping on a hornet's nest was a close second if that gives you an idea of how bad I was feeling from the caterpillars.
     
  6. Medic17

    Medic17 Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    @WILL
    From what I have been reading on this type of caterpiller, you will feel a slight discomfort at first, but the real symptoms do not start till several hours later.

    Yes caterpillars and all others you mentioned can cause anaphalyxis.
    Some symptoms will be worse on others.
     
  7. MrFixIt

    MrFixIt Old Jarhead Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Took this pic of one crawling on the table under the patio a couple weeks back...

    Fuzzy.jpg
     
  8. WILL

    WILL Scout

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    My symptoms built over time. There was no stinging feeling at first. My arms started feeling strange probably 5 minutes after first contact. By 45 minutes in I was laying on my tile kitchen floor almost in vertigo. I was back to normal after about 2-3 hours.
     
  9. Medic17

    Medic17 Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Yeah, to me, that little bugger just screams-
    F.U.!
     
  10. MrFixIt

    MrFixIt Old Jarhead Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    LOL! I thought the same thing. My dog was eyeballin' it so I grabbed a stick, let it crawl onto it and took it out to the tree line.
     
  11. will62

    will62 Scout

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    We had a notice about these things at work. Some of the smokers were picking them up playing with them and leaving work a few hours later when the symptoms hit.
     
  12. Crazysanman

    Crazysanman Supporter Supporter Bushclass II

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    I'll give you a dollar if you lick one.
     
  13. FIELDCRAFTLTC

    FIELDCRAFTLTC Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    We were at an outside wedding last weekend. My stepson saw one and was about to pick it up so it wouldn't be stepped on because it was "oh so cute!" I told him to let it me or he would be sorry. Being an IT guy and knows nothing of the outdoor world, he decided to heed my warning. Later that night, he FB messaged me and thanked me profusely for telling him to leave it alone as he googled it and nearly crapped himself (his words).
     
  14. TWill

    TWill Guide

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    When they are all dressed up with war feathers like that there is a reason for it.....'stay away from me suckers'. Wooly caterpillars are the opposite, pick them up and let them crawl your fingers then ask them to give you some good winter weather...whatever that is.
     
  15. theonceremoved

    theonceremoved Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass II

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    while on a fifty mile hike last year i felt somthing crawling on my neck near my chest , instinct kicked in and i smashed it a bunch of white hairs were on my face neck chest and the shoulder strap of my pack. BAD IDEA! needless to say it felt like someone hit me with bull nettle, from my chin to the center of my chest was on fire and a splochy rash covered the area. it took quite a while to stop burning just in time to feel sick to my stomach. if that never happens again it will be too soon!
     
  16. Brad Arnett

    Brad Arnett Supporter Supporter

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    ^ (this guy) LOL. You keep @Medic17 and I in a job. (grin) One of my favorite stories about a "bite" call was to a woman who had been bitten by a spider while putting on her shoe and dispatch said she had the spider "captured" for us. Arrived to find the pt with a baby wolf spider in a tupperwear bowl and her screaming at me that she had been bitten by a brown recluse. (that seems to be a common theme here, though its quite rare but I have seen it). I told her after looking at her captured spider that it was a wolf spider but she was having none of it as she knew it was brown recluse .....I guess my uniform wasn't professional enough for her. Took her to the er bls and doc said it was a wolf spider and she no reaction and discharged her before I could finish my report. she wasn't happy
     
  17. OrienM

    OrienM Guide

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    DSCN1712.JPG

    Found this little guy on a recent campout; the electric-yellow color seemed to say "don't touch"! Kids took to calling it a 'pikachu' caterpillar :D, but I found out later it's an American Dagger Moth larva. They are not highly toxic, but the hairs are irritating if touched.
     
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