Residents warned about stinging venomous caterpillars

Thursday, October 20, 2016
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Warning about venomous caterpillars stinging people

SEABROOK, TX (KTRK) -- Stinging caterpillars are the scariest creature this Halloween for some families in Seabrook.

The small, furry caterpillars commonly known as "asps" or "puss moth caterpillars" contain venomous bristles that can break off into your skin if you touch them.

Lacy Barnard said her five-year-old daughter, Lyric, stepped on a stinging caterpillar a few days ago.

"She just started screaming, and she screamed for probably a good five hours," Barnard said.

Barnard said she didn't know what to do, so she called a doctor.

"I took a piece of scotch tape and put it over where the sting was," Barnard said, "It's supposed to draw the 'furs' out."

Barnard said she placed Lyric's foot in ice and watched closely to make sure her daughter didn't have an allergic reaction.

Ivie Buske found the caterpillars in her yard, too.

"It makes a person, an adult, cry, so I can only imagine a child," Buske said.

Barnard wants other parents to be aware of the danger.

"They look like cute little furry caterpillars," Barnard said, "when they're extremely not."

Experts said these caterpillars show up in the Houston area this time of year and typically stay around until the winter.

Timothy Gooding with Solutions Pest and Lawn said there is hope for homeowners wanting to clear their yards of these caterpillars. He recommends a product called Reclaim I/T.

"Perfectly safe for all the plants," Gooding said. "You can spray the yard, you can spray various bushes."

According to experts, if you are stung by these caterpillars, it is best to apply ice to the area and take antihistamines to control the itching and swelling. If symptoms get worse, see a doctor.