Doctors have warned Pennsylvania residents that a dangerous type of caterpillar is lurking through the state, despite its fluffy and harmless appearance.
The White Hickory Tussock Moth Caterpillar, despite originating in Canada, has made its way into the United States, WJAC-TV reports. The insect has black spines that are packed with venom, which make it especially dangerous.
“There have been many reported cases,” Dr. Joseph Betz, with MedExpress, told WJAC-TV. “None of them fatal, but all strange, new and concerning.”
Betz reported that his young son touched one of the caterpillars. Within minutes the boy broke out in a rash.
“They don’t mean to do it, but it is part of their defense mechanism against large predators and toddlers,” Betz explained.
Luckily, the rash is temporary and can be treated with lotion and ice. Caterpillars will soon be disappearing as the weather cools and they hibernate in their cocoons during the winter.
Photo Credit: WXPI, OxfordCounty.ca