Home NewsPeninsulaCampeche Beware: the puss caterpillar is in Yucatan, and it is poisonous

Beware: the puss caterpillar is in Yucatan, and it is poisonous

by Yucatan Times
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Due to the hot season, plagues are quite normal in the Yucatan, which are potentiated by the sun and humidity. In the Yucatan Peninsula, there is a kind of caterpillar that apparently does not look dangerous, but is considered one of the most poisonous in the world.

This southern flannel moth´s scientific name is Megalopyge opercularis”  But, due to its shape, it is known as a “caterpillar puss” and can be incited to be taken with our bear hands, especially by children.

Photo Facebook @MariposasEvenus

Worldwide, it is one of the most dangerous, because when in contact with humans, it releases spines with poison. Its population, in general, survives to warm climates and abounds in trees and gardens. The pain that produces its sting in the human body depends on the thorns nailed, this can last up to twelve hours regardless of whether there was little or much contact with the species.

Photo: Facebook @MariposasEvenus

What to do in case of being stung?
— Keep calm, since the “doses” of pain depend a lot on the area where the picket was received. However, a sudden movement after the sting can expand the venom beyond the injured area
— Dial 911 and seek medical attention
— Remove all the spines in the affected area with tweezers or nail clippers. Their hardness allows them to be removed easily, but it must be done with care and not squeezing too much, as they can break.
— Wash the area with abundant cold water
— It is advisable to take the caterpillar to the ER. Use same clamps or a stick to capture the specimen, never make direct contact.
— Report to Civil Protection the place where you came in contact with the larvae, either it was in your own garden, or other place, because they can turn into a plague.



The Yucatan Times

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