Venomous puss caterpillar found crawling near busy playground

A Bay Area father is warning other parents to watch out for the venomous puss caterpillar that he saw crawling feet a...

Posted: Jul 14, 2018 1:34 PM
Updated: Jul 14, 2018 1:34 PM

A Bay Area father is warning other parents to watch out for the venomous puss caterpillar that he saw crawling feet away from where dozens of kids were playing.

It may look cute.

"Like this little miniature shaggy dog," said Chis Dillinger.

But Dillinger says the furry creature crawling next to the playground at a local zoo made him a little leery.

"They were getting ready to touch it and I was like 'I probably wouldn't touch that.' I don't know what it is but it doesn't look good," said Dillinger.

USF biologist Deby Cassill says he was right.

"It is the single most toxic caterpillar in the United States," said Cassill.

She says don't let the cuteness fool you because the sting is very painful.

"The sting is like being stabbed with a burning knife, a hot knife," said Cassill.

Cassill says the furry puss caterpillar carries venom in its fine hairs that stick into the skin like porcupine quills and cause painful welts

"It doesn't really advertise how venomous it is. Most of them have bright coloration for that. This is just furry and it almost invites touch," said Cassill.

Cassill says to warn your kids of what the caterpillar looks like and admire from a distance.

She says if they do touch one, you will want to remove the hairs that carry the venom and apply ice or soothing skin ointments.

Dillenger says he let the zoo know about the caterpillar.

"Just always be aware of your surroundings," said Dillinger.

West Lafayette
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 72°
Kokomo
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 72°
Rensselaer
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 70°
Fowler
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 70°
Williamsport
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 70°
Crawfordsville
Broken Clouds
68° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 68°
Frankfort
Overcast
75° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 75°
Delphi
Clear
71° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 71°
Monticello
Clear
71° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 71°
Logansport
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 70°
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 46387

Reported Deaths: 2662
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11434680
Lake4985241
Elkhart313343
Allen2695117
St. Joseph185766
Cass16369
Hamilton1502100
Hendricks1371100
Johnson1244118
Porter69037
Tippecanoe6598
Madison64363
Clark62744
Bartholomew58044
Howard55057
LaPorte54125
Kosciusko5003
LaGrange4646
Jackson4583
Vanderburgh4576
Noble45128
Delaware42949
Boone42743
Hancock42535
Marshall4183
Shelby41825
Floyd37044
Morgan32331
Montgomery29020
Grant28726
Clinton2812
Monroe26328
Dubois2616
White25910
Decatur24732
Henry23615
Lawrence23624
Vigo2278
Harrison20822
Warrick20729
Dearborn20622
Greene18432
Miami1802
Jennings16911
Putnam1658
DeKalb1594
Scott1557
Daviess13916
Orange13323
Wayne1296
Franklin1248
Steuben1242
Perry1239
Ripley1148
Jasper1132
Carroll1092
Wabash1092
Fayette967
Newton9610
Whitley814
Randolph774
Starke773
Huntington702
Wells681
Jay670
Fulton661
Jefferson661
Washington651
Knox630
Pulaski621
Clay594
Rush563
Benton480
Adams471
Gibson462
Owen451
Sullivan441
Brown381
Blackford372
Posey360
Spencer331
Tipton301
Crawford290
Fountain292
Switzerland260
Martin220
Parke220
Ohio140
Warren141
Union130
Vermillion130
Pike80
Unassigned0193

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events