Apr 19, 2010 11:57 AM by Melissa Canone

Spring Invasion of Stinging Buck Moth Caterpillars

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - An insect expert says New Orleans can expect
a return of an annual problem in about three weeks: the spring
invasion of stinging buck moth caterpillars.
The caterpillars live in - and drop from - the city's sprawling
live oak trees. And anyone who touches one is in for some pain. The
caterpillar's spines are hollow and are connected to poison glands.
Contact with the spines can cause a burning sensation and
inflammation as painful as a bee sting. The irritation can last
several days and, for some people, can be accompanied by nausea.
Cooler-than-normal temperatures have delayed the onslaught so
far. But entomologist Steve Sackett says the stinging pests should
begin falling in droves in about three weeks.


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