> The black and white caterpillar of the Hickory Tussock Moth
The black and white caterpillar of the Hickory Tussock Moth
Hickory Tussock Moth (Lophocampa caryae)
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No need to worry Jessica, you should be fine.
Hello my name is Jessica and I am 13 from north Carolina (w-s) . I was outside today when one of this black & white caterpillers walking on my wrist. I got scared and screamed. I wiggled my arm until it came off.Should I be worried?
I was fishing and one fell down from a tree and landed on the back of my neck and in 5mins I was. Developing hives on the back of my neck and later I got some on my chest. If you get one take a benedryl and put ice on it and try to stay still.
They eat Hickory leaves.
What kind of leaves does it eat?
When they 'lose their fuzz' they are about to pupate and have finished with their hickory leaf munching days.
Found one at camp. Mine still has all it's fuzz. Another girl found one and her's has no fuzz now. Too bad for her. Hey, anyone know what they eat???
If you allow a Hickory Tussock Moth caterpillar to walk over your hand relatively undisturbed it probably won't shed many of its irritating hairs. However, if its handled more roughly you are much more likely to have a problem especially if you have young delicate skin. It is best to just give these caterpillars a wide berth.
I handled one the other day with no problem but my 8 year old has had swelling, pain and hives for the last 3 days--stay away--who knew?????
My 2 1/2 yr old daughter is having the same reaction to these. She was just playing with it today. Should I be worried and should I take her to the doctor?
we live in central Pa and my 3 year old son has been playing with these critters for a few weeks. He developed an itchy rash starting on his stomach, then spread to his arms and legs, his hands are the worst. He would cry and scream at night saying his hands hurt and itched! we went to 2 pediatricians who both said they thought it was scabies (which made no sense to me as I couldn't imagine where he would have gotten that!) we did 2 scabies overnight treatments, and he is still breaking out in red itchy bumps and complaining of his hands. Well, I am now convinced that he does not have scabies, but he is allergic to these caterpillars!! I never knew you could be allergic to bugs!! I feel so badly for him, but am glad I think we finally have an answer!!
I broke out with a rash all over my neck and chest from one of these creature from hell, keep away from them.
I had one in my shoe for 10 hours and did not know until I took it off. I thought my foot was itchy from a part of my running shoe when I found the hickory tussock moth. It is two weeks later and the top of my foot is still itchy, swollen, and painful! Does anyone know of any treatments I could use for this?
We have seen an abundance of tussock moth caterpillars in central Maine. My dog has also developed a rash that began on her left rear foot at the end of August. It very quickly spread with her scratching to her right eye, right ear, left rear foot, and right front foot, and under her right front leg, and the entire right side of her muzzle. This itchy rash spread from just the right rear foot within just 24 hours, everywhere she scratched. She was placed on antibiotics, and prednisone. 1 day before her meds were finished, she began scratching again. She has been placed on a second course of prednisone. These meds are running from Sept. 4th through to Oct. 6th.
I live in Edgartown and this is the first year in several that these beautiful black and white caterpillars are completely absent. Why? Pesticide? The mild 2012 winter and early spring. Seriously, there are usually many of them from mid/late August into September. I have not seen one yet this year. :(
We live in Central Mass and 2 weeks ago these began falling from the trees. Two days ago I had to take my dog to the vets as he had chewed all the hair off the top of his feet. The vet felt that he was having an allergic reaction to something that just came out. Could it be these caterpillars?
we are in middle vermont, and found them droppin like rain off a pine and oak tree, I have had arash and intense itching for a week, sounds like this. i think my cat brings in the poison.
We're also in New Maryland NB, google led me to this site while trying to ID this cute little guy. Yes indeed we are seeing TONS of these fellas everywhere, especially more and more this past week.
We have hundreds of them in our yard in New Maryland, NB, for the 2nd year in a row. They are everywhere : on cedar house siding, garden furniture, deck... Last summer (2011) - from end of July on - we could also see them on sidewalks in our neighborhood. E and A, New Maryland, NB, Canada
I have a bumpy rash on my neck from where one was crawling (possibly bit) on me. I had the WORST severe violent migraine today. I don't know if it is coincidence or from it. My rash has not spread. -Sam, western mass
My daughter was playing with one this weekend and broke out in a painful rash all over her neck. Stay away from these caterpillars.
Hi Carrie, nothing to be really concerned about, they are looking for somewhere to pupate and will emerge as moths next year.
My boys caught 18 of them before they started complaining they were itchy. Just gave them cortizone and children's benadryl. They are crawling up my foundation under my siding. Anyone know if I should be concerned?
i see that this one is black and white.. but iam in michigan and i seen one that my daughter was playing with it was yellow and black and she has pants on and had it on her leg and mins later she was freaking out and it caused a rash that was very itchy to her.. i was wondering if that was one of these and if they are just only black and white or if they can be other colors? please if anyone knows can u please email me back as to what i can do to get rid of this rash or if i have no choice but to take her to the doctor? my email is email@example.com thanks alot
There are dozens he rere in Mactaquac provincial park near Fredericton New Brunswick. This thread confirmedthe itchy rash that can developed. My kids are all warned and hopefully they'll listen!
My 4-year old has spent the last few weeks playing with these as he finds them in the backyard. We live in eastern CT &they are new to the area, so we haven't been warned yet. He broke out all over his arms &legs with very itchy hives that have only been spreading &getting worse. I took him to the hospital &they diagnosed ringworm, but the rash isn't responding to the meds. Now that I have read these comments I will be capturing one &taking it &my son to his pediatrician.
My 5 year old twins found one that looks VERY similar to this, without the longer black hairs, and minutes after she played with it and put it in a glass jar (she LOVES collecting insects ESPECIALLY caterpillars) her hands started to itch sooooooo intensely she almost started crying. We washed and washed and rewashed her hands. While she was drying and eat a popscile I looked up white and black caterpillars and found this and other links. We are in North Central PA. I've seen lots of these around but until today have always told the girls to leave them alone. Now they both know to let them be. We gave her allergy meds and 20 minutes later she says it's not itching as much. Hopefully she doesn't get worse.
My daughter 5 yr. old was playing with one the other day and it lost all it's hair, I didn't think anything of it and didn't know they could be poisonous. She started to break out with red spots on her trunk and arms(but not until the next day). I gave her Benadryl and put her to bed. The next morning her hands were on fire and itchy between her fingers with bumps all over. I rubbed anti-itch lotion and re-dosed her and she did get better. 3 days total.
I'm a 36 yr old male and while hiking in the woods near Rocky Fork SP (Ohio) last week one of these (or something very similiar) got on the back of my neck somehow. I felt it walking around so reached for it and knocked it to the ground and didn't think anything more about it... until about 10 minutes later my neck broke out in hives. I iced it and took benedryl, but the redness and bumps lasted about 2 days - the itchiness only for about the first day. I had the same reaction years earlier (probably when I was about 18) when hiking near Lake Leesville in northeast OH.
my 3 yr old daughter has severe allergies and very sensitive skin. just yesterday she was petting this unique caterpillar and thank goodness she had no reaction. however i do appreciate this post, now that i know, we will not be taking a second chance!
Has anybody seen these caterpillars dropping down from the tree on a thread they seem to make as they go?
they are becoming more and more common in central N.Y.
it is soooooo fuzzy
Hi, my name is Lauren Clark and I am 10 years old. I live in Ohio and I was just caring to this Hickory Tussok Moth and a baby egg of the moth. I am very lucky I had found this website and read the commentary! Glad I was pulling weeds with my gloves ON! Thank you for the comments to aware me they are unsafe!!!!
My 3 year old daughter was playing with one yesterday, then a few minutes later she started screaming that her hands were itchy, in between her fingers. She cried for over an hour, then I told her I would find it and chop its head off w/ a sharp knife, and she laughed.
This morning she woke up w/ a rash all over her arm and legs, but she is no longer itchy.
My son is 7 and has sensitive skin. One of these landed on him yesterday and despite benadryl and soaking he is still miserable and on his way to the doctor. He described the same itching and burning others have and he has a very bad rash.
my five year old daughter touched one about half an hour ago. she was screaming her hands were itchy and hurt.....she had just played with this awful creature. we soaked her hands in warm salt water and she stopped screaming. she seemed fine afterwards.
Hi Phillip, it appears to depend on the individual (possibly how tough and course their skin is) and how roughly the caterpillars are handled. The one pictured above walked across my hand several times and I too had no obvious reaction... but some people especially small children react very badly.
i have kept 10 of those in the past 2 days letting them crawl around me and nothing happened
im 12 and i just found two in northridgeville ohio and my dog ate one and before i looked it up i knew it could be poisoness so i took caution not to touch it but im still a little ichy i hope i dont break out DONT TOUCH IT!!!!!! and for my dog i wanna say good luck Chole
My son just had a wicked reaction!! Gave him an epsom salt bath and some benedryl and he seems to be doing better.
To concerned form CHARLOTTE,VT. Usually the rash clears by itself within a day with no lasting effects whatsoever.
HI, MY WIFE,SON AND I WERE WALKING YESTERDAY WHEN WE SPOTTED ONE OF THESE ON THE ROAD.I TOLD MY WIFE THAT I DON'T THINK SHE SHOULD LET OUR SON PLAY WITH THAT.WELL SHE DID AND THAT SAME NIGHT HE STARTED TO ITCH ON HIS HANDS AND HIS FACE AND STOMACH.IS THIS CREATURE HARMFUL TO HUMANS?WE ALL WOKE UP THIS MORNING AND HE WAS COVERD WITH HIVES LIKE SYSTEMS ALL OVER HIS BODY.WHAT DO WE DO? SHOULD WE BE CONCERNED ABOUT THIS OR IS THIS GOING TO EFFECT HIS NERVOUS SYSTEM. CALL ME PERANOID BUT I'M A LITTLE NERVOUS.
I live in pa and my three year old and my 5 year old just was playin with one the other day and now they have hives.... so beaware please dont let your kids play with them
My 2 year old was playing with one today and also had the unfortunate result of the poisonous spikes...live and learn. I had no idea that caterpillars could be dangerous to touch but it does make sense. We live on Wolfe Island in Ontario and we see these all the time this time of year (September)
My son played with one a little while ago and just now started screaming saying he is all itchy!! I put him into the tub to see if it helps. How long does the reaction last???
I found one today, cute little thing but I guess I will send it out to the fields! I was gonna pick it up but decided to take caution instead.
My three year old told me it bites as shes crying. It last for an half hour. We won't be touching those again EVER! I didn't know this could happen I touched them all my life and never did I feel anything. We live in upstate NY
My 2 year old broke out in a rash on his hands (the worst) and his belly last night and we couldn't figure out from what. My husband told me today that our son was playing with one of these beautiful creatures the day before but didn't think anything of it. After doing a little research, I realized that this must be the source of the problem. When I showed my son this picture, he said, "Momma, caterpillar bite!". Please be careful, this creature is definitely a "LOOK... BUT DON'T TOUCH."
We were walking in the woods today and after our hike, my 2 daughters (5 and 2) were crying in our car complaining that their hands were itching and burning. At first I just thought maybe my 2 yr old was saying it because my 5 yr old was. Throughout the day however, they would each complain or cry that their hands were hurting. I knew it either had to be from the white caterpillar they were handling or the huge mushrooms. They both have the rash on their sides and their hands are red, blotchy and irritated. After reading these comments, I now know it's from the white caterpillar. I touched it as well and nothing happened to me.
I have 4 on my tree right now
my 10 year old played with one yesterday and his hand swelled up and is very itchy he also has some spots on his stomach and side. The nurse at his school said it was hand foot and mouth disease but I knew it was from this darn catapiller. DO NOT TOUCH THESE!!!
My 4 year old grandson handled one yesterday and the hair or secretions got in his eyes. He was screaming! His eyes are now pretty swollen and rashy all around. Not good. His mother is taking him to the Dr this AM> Do not handle these caterpillars.
we live in upstate NY outside of Rochester. My two year old played with one yesterday, shortly after he had a rash on his hand, arm and left side of body!! nothing seems to help reduce the redness. BE CAREFUL! Look dont touch -
I HAV 2 OF THESE 1 NAMED GEORGE AND 1 NAMED DIDDLE I HAVE TOUCHED THEM PLENTY OF TIMES AND NOTHING HAPPEND
I live in Ohio and my granddaughter broke out in a bad reaction after handling one of these caterpillars. I had to take her to the dr. and then looked it up on the internet and they are POISONOUS!! Maybe adults don't break out after touching them, but my 3 year old granddaughter played with it for 40 minutes or more......I wouldn't suggest it. She is pretty miserable right now. It doesn't bite; the poison is on the hairs of the caterpillar. They are out from mid-July to around the end of September and then make their cocoon where they live until spring. At that time they turn into a brown colored moth. BE SAFE!!!! JB from Wilmington, Ohio.
My daughter and her girlfriend found two of these and have them in a jar! They named them Crawler and Spike. We have all been touching them, including me... I looked them up because I was amazed at how fast they crawl. Fortunately, none of us are itchy or have a rash, but I think we're going to let them go free! Thanks for the info.!
my family went on a nature hike and they were everywere! every time we saw one, my dad would scream bloody murder, and baby brother would freak out.
I'm in Manchester Vermont and there's one on my door.
We just saw a couple of these caterpillars this past weekend on an island just off Clayton NY. Our dog sniffed the caterpillar which was crawling on his felt toy. The strangest part is that the dog reacted by shaking his head furiously and started to salivate right after having contact. We knocked the caterpillar off the toy, but approximately a half hour later, the dog picked up his toy and again he repeated the same behaviour even though the caterpillar was no where in sight. This morning the dog sniffed one on the side of our house and he reacted again.
is the catapiller poison you or just sting abd is it deadly?
my brother found one and he thinks its a pet what should i do?
I found two of these and keep them but they never made me ichy but they got eaten by another strange caterpillar :(
There are billons of them in my backyard. Are they really bad??
These are very common to Pennsilvana. We have them all over our yard. Beware, they sting!
I'm 13 years old and i live in cleveland,Ohio and i found one in my back yard on a Computer desk so i researched it and it said "It eats hard wood!" i find it very interesting.
My son, who is 2, picked one up and squished it in his hands. His hands were immediately ichy, nothing we could do stopped it from iching. A few hours later he had a rash on his arm and on his stomach. After 2 days, he is still ichy, and no cream or antihistamine has seemed to work.
I just found one of these tonight in Dutchess County, NY. Took a few pictures...sure glad I didn't touch it after reading this! It is very interesting to look at.
My daughter found one of these and she picked it up. she found little hairs on here finger. next thing we know she is itchy, swelling and rashes on her neck. research has told us that some caterpillars sting! Be ware! not all caterpillars are nice. hot shower, baking soda paste and anti itch cream have worked.
To J delormeorama: I don't know if the Hickory Tussock Moth caterpillar has a more common name (probably does in areas where its common) but I'm unaware of one.
Other than Black and White caterpillar...is there a name for it?...my son photographed one years ago, at my sister's cottage in Ontario, Canada..
I found one here in NY just outside of Buffalo.
I live in upstate NY and my son found one of these.
The only place i know where they are is michigan. so their probably in ohio and illinois and indiana
I touched one it itches and if you scratch to much you get white spots
where do you normally find this type of caterpillar?
I wouldn't touch it ! It makes you VERY itchy.
Christine P. Newman
It looks so fuzzy. I would feel like giving it a big hug, but it is a small insect. Great macro.