Travel News September 16, 2019
North America’s Most Venomous Caterpillar On The Rise In Texas
Texas is no stranger to creepy crawlers, but this one harbors a whole new level of danger. Asps are the most toxic caterpillars in North America, and they’re infiltrating one major city in the Lone Star State.
Puss moth caterpillars, more commonly known as asps, are the most toxic caterpillar in North America.
They are native to the Southern U.S. and live in trees and shrubbery, typically surrounding residential areas.
Because of their long, silky hair, asps resemble a ball of cotton.
They often go unnoticed for long periods of time as a result.
Mating occurs twice a year, and populations peak in both spring and fall.
Body color can be yellow, gray, or reddish-brown, and venom is stored in the hair.
The deceiving critters aren't multiplying for no reason. A well-intended effort to preserve vegetation in the Texas Medical Center area served as a catalyst to the outbreak.
Nets were placed around the trees in an effort to keep birds out. This allowed the asps to flourish in the absence of predators. Researchers have documented over a 7,000% increase compared to other parts of Houston!
Most of the time, asp bites cause nothing more than localized pain, burning, and redness.
Patients more susceptible to illness, however, can experience everything from nausea to shock.
Upon being bitten, immediately place an ice pack on the bite. Oral antihistamines may also be taken for the itching and burning. Keep a close eye out for any serious symptoms and call 911 if necessary.
Have you ever seen an asp? Let us know your thoughts on this outbreak, and read our previous article to learn about another creature taking over Texas:
Venomous Snakebites Have Hit An All-Time High In Texas This Year.