— This article by Jerry Cates, first published on 7 March 2010, was last revised on 13 October 2013. © Bugsinthenews Vol. 11:03(11).
Since it is common for puss caterpillar sting victims to go to nearby hospital emergency rooms for treatment, medical personnel should be familiar with this caterpillar and appropriate medical interventions. A list of websites that publish information for medical professionals on puss caterpillar stings and similar envenomations is provided below. All physicians, nurses, paramedics, and emergency medical technicians are advised to read through each of these papers well in advance of having to assist someone who has been stung by a puss caterpillar:
eMedicine: Caterpillar Envenomation; Robert Norris, M.D.
J. Clin. Toxicol: Envenomation by Asp Caterpillar; David Eagleman, Baylor Col. of Medicine
J. Clin. Toxicol: Stipetic M.E., et al, Retrospective analysis of 96 asp envenomations…
Links: (1) Puss Caterpillar General Information. (2) The Puss Caterpillar’s Stinging Apparatus. (3) Puss Caterpillar Extermination. (4) The Puss Caterpillar’s Natural Predators. (5). Puss Caterpillar Stings–Medical Interventions. (6) Puss Caterpillar Stings–Home Remedy First Aid Measures.
REFERENCES FOR FURTHER READING:
- Avilán, Luisana, et al. 2010. Description of envenomation by the “gusano-pollo” caterpillar (Megalopyge opercularis) in Venezuela. Invest Clin 51(1): 127 – 132.
- Bennett, Gary W. 2010. Truman’s Scientific Guide to Pest Management Operations 7th Edition. Purdue University.
- Borror, Donald J., and Richard E. White. 1970. A Field Guide to Insects: America North of Mexico. Houghton Mifflin Company
- Bradley, Fern Marshall, et al. 2010. The Organic Gardener’s Handbook of Natural Pest and Disease Control: A Complete Guide to Maintaining a Healthy Garden and Yard the Earth-Friendly Way (Rodale Organic Gardening Books). Rodale Inc.
- Eagleman, David M. 2007. Envenomation by the asp caterpillar (Megalopyge opercularis). Clinical Toxicology (2007) iFirst, 1–5.
- Epstein, Marc E. 1995. Evolution of locomotion in slug caterpillars (Lepidoptera: Zygaenoidea: Limacodid group). J. Res. Lepidoptera 34:1-13.
- Foot, Nathan Chandler. 1922. Pathology of the Dermatitis caused by Megalopyge opercularis, a Texan caterpillar. JEM 35(5): 1 May 1922.
- Khalaf, Kamel T. 1974. Nonasceptic Wheat Germ Diet for Megalopyge opercularis (Lepidoptera: Megalopygidae). The Florida Entomologist 57(4):377-381.
- Klotz, John H. et al. 2009. Animal Bites and Stings with Anaphylactic Potential. J. Emerg. Med. 36(2):148-156.
- Lifton, Bernice. 2005. Bug Busters: Poison-Free Pest Controls for Your House and Garden. Square One Publishers.
- Mallis, Arnold, Stoy Hedges (Ed.) et al. 2011. The Mallis Handbook of Pest Control, 10th Edition. The Mallis Handbook Company.
- Neck, Raymond W. 1976. Lepidopteran Foodplant Records from Texas. J. Res. Lepidoptera 15(2):75-82.
- Steen. Christopher J. et al. Arthropods in dermatology. J. Am. Dermatol. 50(6):819-842.
- Stewart, Amy. 2011. Wicked Bugs: The Louse That Conquered Napoleon’s Army & Other Diabolical Insects. Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill.
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On July 18, 2010 at about 09:00 am I was clearing a field of brush and small trees in Dallas, TX. I felt as if someone had pressed a lit cigar on my left elbow, smacked it as if I was stung by a bee or wasp and continued to work. After 8 hours of continued pain equilent to someone holding a hot cigar against my arm I inquired as to what left these odd arched scars. The marks left are easily identifiable once you see other examples. PEOPLE NOW LISTEN, Scrape the entire area with a razor or credit card and apply OLIVE OIL, thats right apply olive oil, my pain and discomfort was lessened in minutes of applying. Some old Itailian ladies still know a few home remedy tricks.