The puss caterpillar or woolly slug is the most poisonous caterpillar. The sting causes sudden pain that can be severe and radiating. The affected area develops erythema and swelling and within 2-3 hours becomes a grid-like pattern of hemorrhagic papules. The condition usually last for 1-2 days.
Symptoms of puss caterpillar sting
- Throbbing pain
- Burning sensations
- Development of rashes
- Nausea and vomiting
- Muscle cramps and seizures
- Erythematous spots
- Abdominal pain
- Respiratory distress
- Remove the puss caterpillar and avoid touching it. Use pliers or tweezers or wear thick gloves to pick up the caterpillar. Avoid picking them up with bare hand to prevent further irritation and delay the healing.
- Once there is burning and itching sensation, stay calm and relaxed. Avoid moving around to prevent the fast spreading of the venom to other areas of the body and worsen the condition.
- Place an adhesive tape or cellophane over the affected area. Strip the tape repeated at least once or twice to remove hair of the caterpillar.
- Wash thoroughly the area using soap and hot water to flush out remaining hair and toxins present in the surface of the skin.
- Place ice cubes in a plastic bag. Wrap it in a towel or a cloth before placing over the affected area for at least 5-10 minutes every 2 hours to lessen the swelling, the pain and the burning sensation. Another alternative is using bag of frozen vegetable such as corn or peas is also good for the condition.
- Prescribed antihistamines medications to lessen the severe itching and other symptoms.
- Apply isopropyl alcohol or rubbing alcohol to the sting to lessen the pain and the itchiness.
- Prescribe topical corticosteroids to lessen the severity of the inflammation.
- Make a paste by mixing baking soda and a few drops of water. Mix them well and apply it directly on the area to lessen severe itchiness and mild skin reactions.
- Prescribed pain medications to lessen severe pain and headache.
- Get a tetanus vaccination within 72 hours after stung by a caterpillar to prevent the risk of developing infections.
Disclaimer / More Information
The material posted on this page on a puss caterpillar sting is for learning purposes only. Learn to recognize the signs and how it is treated by taking a first aid and CPR class with one of our training providers.