Experts warn of venomous Asp Caterpillar popping up around Houston

HOUSTON -- Jordan Meredith was just standing in the parking lot at work, when suddenly she was overcome with pain.

"I felt this staggering, intense pain on my ankle," said Jordan Meredith.

Her skin near her ankle turned red and she was rushed to the emergency room. She said the pain only got worse as the hours passed.

"It felt, and having said this because I just broke my arm last year, it felt like I had broken my ankle. It was that debilitating," said Meredith.

She soon found out that a tiny caterpillar, often called an Asp caterpillar, was the culprit.

The Pest Police said the caterpillars are often in oak trees, rose bushes and ivy.

"The pain could include burning, itching, rashes, blistering, trouble breathing, chest pains," said Mikal Shamsi of Pest Police.

Shamsi said you will see more of the caterpillars this time of year. He said the caterpillars nest underground and likely stayed underground longer due to the flooding, which means they had a longer breeding season.

Colonial Park in West University have had warning signs of the caterpillar so parents and kids know to watch out for them.

Parents like Reena Jogi are grateful the signs are there.

"I've shown them the signs and said if you see something that looks like this just don't touch it, even though it's super cute and adorable and tempting," said Dr. Reena Jogi, a mom and dermatologist.

Dr. Jogi said if you are stung, make sure the caterpillar's spines, which look like hairs, are out of your skin. She also recommends that you put a cold compress on your skin.

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