A breed of hairy caterpillars — considered to the most poisonous in the US — have recently been spotted in Virginia.

The state’s Department of Forestry is warning residents to be on the lookout for puss caterpillars, which look soft and furry — but have hidden sharp spines that can stick to human skin.

“The ‘hairs’ of this caterpillar are actually venomous spines that cause a painful reaction if touched,” the agency wrote on Facebook.

The Cousin Itt-like critters’ venomous spine can cause symptoms including intense pain, itchy rashes nausea and vomiting when touched or brushed up against, according to the University of Michigan.

Last month, a woman in Richmond, Va., went to the emergency room after a run-in with one of the so-called “toxic toupees.”

“It felt exactly like a scorching-hot knife passing through the outside of my calf,” Crystal Spindel Gaston told The Virginia Mercury.

Even after she was treated with antihistamines and over-the-counter pain medication, Gaston said that “the stung spot “felt like a second- or third-degree burn, and I felt super achy, like my bones hurt.”

A Florida mother whose son brushed up against one of the fuzzy insects in 2018 said he experienced “the worst pain he had ever felt.”

Measuring less than 2-inches, the creepy crawlies feed on shade trees such as elm, oak and sycamore and are usually found in southern states, going up north to Maryland and west to Texas.

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Source: https://nypost.com/2020/10/08/warning-issued-after-venomous-hairy-caterpillars-spotted-in-virginia/

Southern flannel moth, Virginia, Caterpillar, Flannel moths

World news – US – Officials issue warning after venomous hairy caterpillars spotted in Virginia

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