What’s that creeping on the sidewalk? A caterpillar of course. While most caterpillars are harmless, some you will see in your backyard in the next couple of months can actually hurt you. From July through October you may encounter the IQ Moth, Puss Moth and Saddleback moth caterpillar. Those are all stinging caterpillars. You may also be familiar with the Buck Moth caterpillar, those spiky black creepy creatures come out in spring and early summer.
What You Need To Know About Stinging Caterpillars
Saddleback Caterpillars have a noticeable green saddle on its center body and prominent barbed horns on the front and rear of their bodies. IQ Moth caterpillars are lime green with thin white and burgundy stripes down each side. They have spines all over their bodies. You will find them mostly on crape myrtles. Puss Moth caterpillars have a short, thick body densely covered with yellow, gray or brown hairs.
All of them have spines that can puncture your skin and release a venom. If you get stung by one of these caterpillars, it will hurt immediately. You may also experience whelps that itch and turn red. Allergic reactions have been reported in some cases. You will find these caterpillars on lawns, sidewalks, driveways, patios, porches and on shrubs. When working in your yard, wear gloves and long sleeves to avoid getting stung.
For more information visit: https://www.lsuagcenter.com/NR/rdonlyres/B6A6B551-26E0-40AA-9EE5-DFB34CB73926/33412/pub1979stingingcaterpillar1.pdf