Painful stinging caterpillars seen in Georgia

(By Nadiatalent - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

A venomous caterpillar known for its toxins has been spotted in Georgia.

The American Dagger moth's caterpillar may look cute, but it can cause an itchy reaction if its hairs touch you.

Experts say the caterpillar's hairs are connected to poison sacs that inject toxins. The toxins can cause a stinging, burning, or itching sensation that can turn into a rash.

If you come into contact with one, you can try to remove the bristles with tape before washing the area. Over-the-counter pain medications or topical hydrocortisone creams can also help reduce the pain.

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The American Dagger is just one of the caterpillars you should watch out for in the state. According to the University of Georgia College of Agriculture and Environmental Science, Georgia is home to the Saddleback caterpillar and the puss caterpillar, both of which can give you hives.

If you stand the risk of being in contact with these toxic bugs, officials suggest you reduce exposure by wearing long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and gloves.

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