Tussock moth caterpillars are considered to be a nuisance pest. The hairs on these tussock moth caterpillars can cause a very itchy rash. The prickly hairs are a defense mechanism (they are not poisonous or venomous).
A person can have a reaction ranging from mild itching to severe blistering and pain. Some people may experience an allergic reaction, which may require medical attention. You do not want to crush the caterpillar as this will release their prickly hairs into the air where they can be inhaled, causing further irritation.
Are pale tussock moth caterpillars poisonous?
Pale tussock moth caterpillars (C. sylvatica) are not poisonous or venomous and there is no evidence that they can inflict any serious injury on humans or animals.
Allergies are the main risk from pale tussock moth caterpillars, specifically in young children. These caterpillars shed their hair during their development and it can cause a number of problems for humans, including an allergic reaction in some people.
The best way to avoid these complications is to keep away from the caterpillars if you see them, or learn how to remove them safely.
Are banded tussock moth caterpillars poisonous?
Banded tussock moth caterpillars are not poisonous or venomous. Neither do they sting. However, the hairs on their bodies are barbed and can cause itching and rashes. In addition, some people may have allergic reactions to the hairs.
Banded tussock moth caterpillars are generally a dark to light brown color with several tufts of black and white hair along their backs and sides. They are about 1-1/2 inches long when fully grown.
Although banded tussock moth caterpillars rarely feed in large numbers, if they do become overly abundant they can be controlled by spraying affected areas with an insecticide labeled for use on foliage feeders.
Are milkweed tussock moth caterpillars poisonous?
Milkweed tussock moth caterpillars are not poisonous or venomous but they do cause allergies. In the USA, milkweed tussock moth caterpillars have been known to be allergens since 1944. In Canada, this species is found in small numbers in British Columbia.
The caterpillars have large, dark heads and black spots on their yellowish bodies. They are covered in light brown hairs that can come off if touched. The caterpillars tend to stay together in groups and will often feed on milkweed leaves near the ground.
These caterpillars are a seasonal concern for people who work at golf courses and nurseries, as well as hikers who come into contact with milkweed plants. Contact with these caterpillars can cause skin rashes and eye irritation.
Are hickory tussock moth caterpillars poisonous?
Hickory tussock moth caterpillars are not poisonous or venomous, but they do cause allergies. They are covered with tiny spines that can irritate your skin and trigger an allergic reaction.
The first symptom of a hickory tussock moth caterpillar sting is itching on the area that came into contact with the caterpillar. The itching will become more intense and then start to burn. If you notice itchy red patches that look like welts, you may have been stung by a hickory tussock moth caterpillar.
Other symptoms include swelling of the skin, rashes, nausea, cramping, and diarrhea.
Are western tussock moth caterpillars poisonous?
The western tussock moth caterpillar (Orgyia vetusta) is not a toxic or poisonous species. It is considered an allergen, meaning it causes allergic reactions in some people. The hairs of the western tussock moth caterpillar contain an irritant and may cause a rash, swelling, or itching in some individuals.
Are sycamore tussock moth caterpillars poisonous?
Sycamore tussock moth caterpillars are not poisonous or venomous but they do cause allergies. Sycamore tussock moth caterpillars have long, multicolored hairs on their body that cause an allergic reaction in humans.
“These hairs are barbed and break off in the skin,” said Steve Mullen, managing entomologist at the Cobb County Extension Office. “Even if you’re not especially sensitive to them, these hairs can be irritating.”
The rash from sycamore tussock moth caterpillar hairs typically appears as a raised red rash with small bumps and blisters at the points of contact, according to the Oregon State University Extension Service. It is usually itchy and may resemble poison ivy or poison oak rashes.
The tussock moth caterpillars are not poisonous themselves, yet they do cause dermatitis in some people due to their irritating hairs. Therefore it is best to leave them alone.