Venomous Caterpillar Found in Hudson Valley
New Yorkers are warned not to touch a cute, fuzzy but venomous caterpillar which has been spotted all over the state and in the Hudson Valley.
Hickory tussock moth caterpillars are common in the Northeast in the fall, sometimes in large numbers, officials say.
The furry white and black hairs on the critter are actually venomous. When they get stuck in the skin, a person may develop a rash, similar to poison ivy. In extreme cases, the person will have difficulty breathing and may vomit.
Hudson Valley residents in Dutchess, Orange, Ulster and Sullivan counties have reported seeing the critters. It's also been spotted in Albany and the Catskills.
If you are infected by the caterpillar, taking antihistamines, washing the area with soap and water or ammonia, applying calamine lotion or an ice pack should help relieve the symptoms quickly. If you experience a severe reaction, seek medical attention immediately.
The venomous hairs can also impact your dog or cat if the caterpillar’s hair comes in contact with the animal’s nose.
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