Flannel Moth Caterpillar – dangerous!!

That’s right – I know you are thinking, “But Jacque, why on earth would we wear ear muffs in the woods in Florida in the summer?” Well, I’m gonna tell you why – that’s right – you know what’s coming….a story.

Once upon a time there was a nerdy Chick with Ticks named Jacque.  Jacque was working diligently on some urban wetlands with her partner Kristen. Well, Jacque had to pee. Of course, when we are working in the woods and we have to pee – we pee in the woods. Never much of a big deal (except that time with the scorpion…).

So, Jacque went in search of a nice place to go. It was quite wet in this wetland (duh) and Jacque wanted to find a place where her booty wasn’t dragging in the mud. She ducked under some vine-covered vegetation….and BAM! Something was in her right ear it was horrid and hurt.

Now, this pain wasn’t just an ouchy….it was intense. It radiated into her neck and head and she was much hurting. Kristen rushed her to the local emergency room as she was getting worse and nauseous. Jacque was feeling pain so sever she couldn’t talk through the hysterical crying.

The nice nurse took Jacque into a room. The nice nurse helped take her disgusting muddy boots off. THe nice nurse proceeded to question the girls on what happened….then the doctor came in – took a flashlight and said, “Considering the redness and pain – it was probably a toxic caterpillar.” Jacque agreed as she had wiped something out of her ear that resembled the puss caterpillar.

Just a minor sting….

The nice nurse gave Jacque some percoset – and informed her that there isn’t much treatment for such an attack but that she needed to give Jacque a steroid shot now. The tiny needle didn’t scare Jacque because she was in so much pain she could care less what anyone did. Oh, how wrong Jacque was.

That steroid shot hurt just about as bad as the caterpillar toxin. Then the percoset took effect and Jacque could stop crying. They sent Jacque out the door with more steroid prescriptions, pain meds, and Benadryl.

Today, Jacque was hopped up on steroids digging holes for gopher tortoise trapping….and those darned steroids made her feel like superman! BUT, we want you to know something….there are some very dangerous caterpillars in Florida – and they can cause some very serious health issues.


Spines….these deliver the toxin

So, click the link above and learn more about them. They can even kill some people who are sensitive. Please keep tape around as you can use it to remove some of the hairs before you seek treatment. Kristen and Jacque have both had severe reactions to small puss (flannel moth) caterpillars that were tiny! Each time you get attacked – it gets worse and the toxin can affect you more. So, if you must pee in the woods – please watch out for caterpillars.