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Warning: reckless petting of the pussy moth can cause itching and burning sensations

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Freaky Fred

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Story

TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

The may look fluffy and cute, but these caterpillars are anything but.

Under all that fur on the puss caterpillar are venomous bristles that break off into the skin when touched by humans and cause serious pain. This caterpillar is the most poisonous in the country, and makes its home in several different kinds of trees found in Florida, such as elm, oak and sycamore.
Doctors describe the pain as "instant, immediate and intense." In addition to a skin reaction, touching the venomous bristles can also cause fever, vomiting, convulsions and a drop in blood pressure. Some people have worse reactions than others, and require medical attention. Others may only have an itching or burning sensation.

The puss caterpillar is more prevalent certain times of year - and now is one of those times. Reports of people getting stung are on the rise. Doctors say its important to watch out for these caterpillars near trees, and talk to children, who may be more tempted to touch one. At its largest, the puss caterpillar grows one-inch long.

The Poison Center in Tampa says if you do get stung, place Scotch tape over the affected area and strip off repeatedly to remove spines. Apply ice packs to reduce the stinging sensation, and follow with a paste of baking soda and water.

From Wikipedia

The moth Megalopyge opercularis has numerous common names, including southern flannel moth, pussy moth, puss caterpillar, tree asp, and the asp caterpillar. It is visually striking in both larval and adult forms. The inch-long larva is generously coated in long, luxuriant hair-like setae, making it resemble a tiny Persian cat, the characteristic that presumably gave it the name "puss." It is variable in color, from downy grayish-white to golden-brown to dark charcoal gray. It often has a streak of bright orange running longitudinally. The 'fur' on early-stage larvae is sometimes extremely curly, giving the larva a cottony, puffed-up look. The body tapers to a tail that extends well beyond the body, unlike its relative M. crispata.[1] The middle instar has a more dishevelled, 'bad-hair-day' appearance, without a distinctive tail.

The adult moth is also very bizarre in appearance, covered in long fur in colors ranging from dull orange to lemon yellow, with hairy legs and fuzzy black feet.
The larva does not spin a real cocoon, rather, it separates from its furry skin and uses it as a protective covering while it pupates.
pics of the demonic creature

stay safe GAF

disclaimer: don't google "pussy moth" for more pics
 

Rayis

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Jul 16, 2012
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I've gotten stung by a caterpillar before, it burned like a bitch and it left a huge red mark that faded overtime. It wasn't those though.
 

JBourne

maybe tomorrow it rains
Jan 9, 2013
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We get these on our tomatoes:

The white things are eggs.

Assholes completely stripped the tops of our plants dry. Thankfully they only hit them past the 7 foot mark, so only a couple pieces of fruit were lost.

Fuck caterpillars.
 

Freaky Fred

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We get these on our tomatoes:



The white things are eggs.

Assholes completely stripped the tops of our plants dry. Thankfully they only hit them past the 7 foot mark, so only a couple pieces of fruit were lost.

Fuck caterpillars.
Tomato Hornworms? they're complete assholes.

we burned about 50 of them a few years back after they completely chewed through a few of our plants
 

JBourne

maybe tomorrow it rains
Jan 9, 2013
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Tomato Hornworms? they're complete assholes.

we burned about 50 of them a few years back after they completely chewed through a few of our plants
We only found one, and we searched pretty thoroughly. That bastard completely stripped the top stems of both the juliets and the goliaths. It's actually kinda funny. I'll post a picture in the moth thread when I go back out there on Friday.

We're using as little insecticide as possible. Just one dusting of Sevin early on in the plant's life. It's not going as well as we had hoped. This past weekend, we finally had to put the blackberries and potatoes out of their misery. They lived a hard life.

I should probably post in GardenGAF.
 

Freaky Fred

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We only found one, and we searched pretty thoroughly. That bastard completely stripped the top stems of both the juliets and the goliaths. It's actually kinda funny. I'll post a picture in the moth thread when I go back out there on Friday.

We're using as little insecticide as possible. Just one dusting of Sevin early on in the plant's life. It's not going as well as we had hoped. This past weekend, we finally had to put the blackberries and potatoes out of their misery. They lived a hard life.

I should probably post in GardenGAF.
there's a garden GAF?
 
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