Teen hospitalized after being stung by venomous caterpillar

(WHDH) — A Florida neighborhood is on high alert after a venomous caterpillar stung a 15-year-old boy who was doing yard work.

“I mean, I’ve seen furry caterpillars but never seen this one. Apparently, they are around, and they’re dangerous,” Andrea Pergola said.

Pergola had no idea what kind of damage a creepy, crawly caterpillar could do until she saw the wound it left behind on her son’s wrist.

“The fur itself is poisonous,” she said. “It has the poison, but then there are venom glands that each spike is attached to.”

Pergola’s son, Logan, was doing volunteer landscaping work and was unaware the caterpillar was lurking in a nearby oak tree.

“He came running towards me and he was like ‘something bit me,’” she said. “And he showed me and it was like all welted up and I said, ‘let’s go inside and rinse it off.’”

By that point, it was too late. The toxins were already in Logan’s body. An angry rash quickly traveled up his arm and onto his chest.

“It numbed my whole hand, pretty much the whole thing felt like fire,” Logan said.

Logan was rushed to a nearby hospital, where doctors were able to treat him.

The Pergola’s captured the bug in a bag so they could turn it over to experts for examination.

The larva is known as the “ASP” or “Puss” caterpillar. They are native to the southeastern states. They are no longer venomous upon transforming into a moth.

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