There are plenty of venomous animals dwelling within the United States. Snakes and arachnids can transmit venom to people’s circulatory systems if they feel threatened. But which other creatures in America are venomous? Surprisingly many caterpillars are venomous, as this blog has described in the past. But most venomous caterpillars do not transmit venom via bites. Instead venomous caterpillars release thin spines that are toxic. These hair-like spines can be seen protruding from the bodies of many caterpillar species, and they can prick people’s skin like a cactus. The spines are often toxic, and the pain they usually cause to victims is immense. The most venomous caterpillar in the US is the puss caterpillar. Puss caterpillars appear to be covered in elegant white hair. Some people find a puss caterpillars appearance to be “cute”. But if you ever spot one, run in the other direction. These hairs can, in fact, cause a sort of pain sensation that makes a victim’s skin feel as though it is on fire. One mother from Florida can attest to this, as her son had sustained a puss caterpillar attack. The attack caused the boy to scream in a manner that made his mother think that he was attacked by something far more vicious than a caterpillar, but no bite marks were detected.
Puss caterpillar sightings have been increasing in the state of Florida. One mother living in Plant City, Florida probably does not find this surprising. The mother was cleaning her home one day when she suddenly heard her five year old son screaming from the family’s backyard. After initial confusion, the mother quickly realized that her son had stepped on a puss caterpillar, which caused several toxic spines to enter his foot. As it happened, her sister had been pricked by a puss caterpillar a year prior. Apparently, the boy nearly hyperventilated as a result of his continuous “blood curdling” high-pitched cries of pain. The boy was rushed to the emergency room where he remained hospitalized for three hours. According to doctors, the pain is always intense, but the level of pain experienced can vary depending on the amount of spines that become stuck into the skin of victims. The pain can even make a victim’s bones hurt, and can last as long as twelve hours if treatment is not administered.
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