Sometimes — heck, often — the cutest looking creatures are the ones that will ruin your existence.
Last week, news stations in Florida posted a warning about a cute little caterpillar that is appearing in trees throughout the state. Megalopyge opercularis is also known as the “puss caterpillar,” which makes it sound so cute!
(Picture via Wikipedia.)
However, Megalopyge opercularis is also known as a tree asp or asp caterpillar, and with good reason! That cute fluffy fur contains venomous spines that, to quote Wikipedia,
cause extremely painful reactions in human skin upon contact. The reactions are sometimes localized to the affected area but are often very severe, radiating up a limb and causing burning, swelling, nausea, headache, abdominal distress, rashes, blisters, and sometimes chest pain, numbness, or difficulty breathing.
Yikes! It isn’t even enough to just avoid touching them if you see them for, as FOX Houston notes,
Doctors say be aware of them while working outdoors because they are known to fall out of trees.