Residents of the American state of Virginia complained about the invasion of poisonous shaggy caterpillars. The larva of a butterfly from the megalopigid family may look soft and fluffy, but in a person who touches it, it causes painful irritation on the skin, inflammation and fever.
According to the Daily Mail, the state has already warned residents of the danger. In the east of Virginia, there have already been many visits from citizens to doctors. So far, the authorities assure that the caterpillar population is under control: its growth is successfully restrained by the natural enemies of these insects. But if necessary, the state leadership promised to use insecticides.
Covered with fine hairs, caterpillars are some of the most venomous in the United States. They live mainly in the southern states, living in trees – elms, oaks and sycamore trees.
55-year-old Richmond resident Crystal Spindel Gaston said that when she touched the caterpillar, she felt as if a red-hot knife had pierced her leg.
“Before I looked down, I was one hundred percent sure that I would see a sharp piece of metal,” – said the woman.
She immediately went to the doctor, and she managed to completely get rid of the consequences of the meeting with the caterpillar in three days.
A similar case occurred in Florida: there a caterpillar sent a 15-year-old boy to the hospital.
Experts advise residents of states where this insect is widespread, after encountering it, immediately rinse the place of contact to wash off the hairs remaining on the skin. They can also be removed with adhesive tape. Those who are allergic to insect bites should see a doctor right away.