Tags: venomous | caterpillar | sting | florida | teen

Venomous Caterpillar a Real Pain to Florida Teenager

Venomous Caterpillar a Real Pain to Florida Teenager
(Wikimedia Commons)

By    |   Thursday, 21 June 2018 12:23 PM

A venomous caterpillar gave a Florida teen what he called the "worst pain he ever felt" as he was being rushed by his parents to the emergency room at a local hospital.

Andrea Pergola's Facebook post about her son Logan being stung by a puss caterpillar went viral, being shared more than 300,000 times, WFLA-TV reported.

Logan Pergola, 15, has recovered after the incident on Saturday in Zephyrhills, Florida where the family was doing volunteer landscaping works.

He told WFLA-TV he was clearing trees and brush when he felt something sting him, leaving a grid-like mark on his wrist. The rash grew and started spreading up his arm and to his chest.

His father found the caterpillar and placed it in a baggie and then Andrea Pergola determined it was venomous after doing some Internet sleuthing.

"My mom instinct just kind of kicked in," Andrea Pergola told the Tampa Bay Times, adding they rushed their boy to Florida Hospital in Zephyrhills after looking up the caterpillar. "I knew I needed to stay calm and keep him calm."

University of Florida entomologist Don Hall told National Geographic in 2014 that the puss caterpillar looks like a "cuddly house cat," but the insect's sting is anything but friendly.

"A puss caterpillar sting feels like a bee sting, only worse," Hall told NatGeo. "The pain immediately and rapidly gets worse after being stung and can even make your bones hurt. How bad the sting hurts depends on where you get stung and how many spines are embedded in your skin.”

"People who have been stung on the hand say the pain can radiate up to their shoulder and last for up to 12 hours."

Logan Pergola told the Times that his pain moved through his bones to the point where he started to have tremors.

Doctors treated him with medication and an IV, and it took until Monday before the teenager returned to normal.

"I don't think I’ve ever posted a BE AWARE post before – but after today I think this is super important," Andrea Pergola said, according to the Times. "You need to be careful. I want to let people locally around us be aware."

Puss caterpillars mostly feed on oak trees and are common in Florida, Lyle Buss, senior biological scientist at the University of Florida, told the Times.

"If you do see one, leaving them alone is the best thing to do," Buss said.

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A venomous caterpillar gave a Florida teen what he called the "worst pain he ever felt" as he was being rushed by his parents to the emergency room at a local hospital.
venomous, caterpillar, sting, florida, teen
407
2018-23-21
Thursday, 21 June 2018 12:23 PM
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