The puss caterpillar, or woolly slug, is the most poisonous
caterpillar in the United States. Its poison is hidden in hollow spines among
its hairs. This hairy caterpillar is found in the southern states, ranging west
through most of Texas and north to Maryland and Missouri. It feeds on shade
trees such as elm, oak, and sycamore. Puss caterpillars vary in size from
1.2 in. (32 mm) to
1.4 in. (36 mm).
Symptoms of puss caterpillar contact may include:
Immediate, intense pain that often comes in
A swelling, itching rash of red blotches and raised
Restlessness and anxiety.
Symptoms of shock.
If you come into contact with a puss caterpillar, remove the
broken-off spines by using cellophane tape or a commercial facial peel, and
call your doctor.
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerWilliam H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerH. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine