Caterpillar sting painful, but not deadly; here’s what to do if you get stung

Megalopyge opercularis in larval from. It's better known as the puss catepillar and is regarded as dangerous due to its venomous spines.
Caption
Megalopyge opercularis in larval from. It's better known as the puss catepillar and is regarded as dangerous due to its venomous spines.

Credit: File photo

Credit: File photo

More than 30 people in Florida have sought medical attention after suffering a painful bite from a stinging caterpillar, known as the puss caterpillar, according to the Florida Poison Information Center.

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The center in Tampa said the victims were all attacked in Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Polk counties.

If a stinging caterpillar lands on you, use a piece of paper to remove the insect, instead of brushing it away.

Although the sting may be painful, it isn't deadly. Some victims may need to visit an emergency room to be treated for the pain.

The caterpillars, which tend to live in oak trees, are fuzzy, but they have a venomous spine that can burrow into skin.

Explore>> Related: Florida woman warns others after ‘excruciating' burn from venomous caterpillar

If you are stung by one of these creatures, contact FPIC at 800-222-1222 to receive first aid tips and to learn how to remove the venomous spine without visiting a doctor.

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