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The puss caterpillar, or woolly slug, is the most poisonous
caterpillar in the United States. Its poison is hidden in hollow spines among
its hairs. This hairy caterpillar is found in the southern states, ranging west
through most of Texas and north to Maryland and Missouri. It feeds on shade
trees such as elm, oak, and sycamore. Puss caterpillars vary in size from
1.2 in. (32 mm) to
1.4 in. (36 mm).
See a photograph of a
Symptoms of puss caterpillar contact may include:
If you come into contact with a puss caterpillar, remove the
broken-off spines by using cellophane tape or a commercial facial peel, and
call your doctor.
October 14, 2011
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
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