A ‘hairy’ situation: Virginia officials warn of venomous pus caterpillar

Because 2020 just keeps getting worse, here’s another notch in the year’s belt of horrors.

The Virginia Department of Forestry is warning people about reports of the puss caterpillar in a few eastern counties.

The “hairs” of the fuzzy fiend are venomous spines that cause a painful reaction if touched, according to VDOF, who say the caterpillars eat oak and elm leaves, but can be found in parks or near structures.

“If you find the caterpillar, leave it alone and let its natural enemies control their populations — there are a number of other insects that will prey on them at different stages of their life cycle,” the agency said in a Facebook post.

Thanks, nature.

#SocialDistance away from this caterpillar! VDOF’s forest health team has received reports of the puss caterpillar in…

Posted by Virginia Department of Forestry on Tuesday, October 6, 2020

More information is available online.

Like WTOP on Facebook and follow @WTOP on Twitter to engage in conversation about this article and others.

Get breaking news and daily headlines delivered to your email inbox by signing up here.

© 2020 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up