Beware Stinging Caterpillars in Minnesota
I remember being a child and seeing fuzzy cute caterpillars everywhere when I played outside with my brother and cousins at my Grandparents home in Princeton. We thought they were so cute when you would touch them and they would curl up in a ball. We would carry them all over the place and pet them. Obviously, we were lucky. I don't remember ever running across a caterpillar that was not only fuzzy and cute, but could sting you as well. Beware! They are out there!
Caterpillars don't really want to hurt you. They are not aggressive. Usually what happens is; you're outside...cleaning stuff up and you happen to brush across one of these fuzzy bugs. You may not even know it, and think you're having a reaction to a plant.
The stings can be much like a bee sting, but can be very serious and life threatening for others.
The stinging caterpillars are usually brightly colored...but I wouldn't take any chances. Just look...don't touch. Warn the little ones about what can happen.
If you see some fuzzy caterpillars next to your kids swing set, or somewhere where the kids are playing you may want to pick them up with a stick and move them to a wooded less busy location.
HOW TO TREAT CATERPILLAR STINGS
It's not going to feel good. Nope. It's like getting stung by a bee. How do you treat a caterpillar sting? Here are some ideas I found. Since I've never been stung, you'll have to try these and let me know if they work.
- Stick a piece of tape on the needles that are sticking in your skin to pull out the quills.
- Wash the area with soap and water to get rid of some of the venom.
- Quickly apply an ice pack.
- Quickly apply baking soda.
- Antihistamines apparently DO NOT work on Caterpillar stings.
Mostly the very young, very old or sick individuals are the ones who develop more serious reactions.