North Texas Girl Sent to Hospital After Venomous Caterpillar Sting
A 5-year-old North Texas girl had to be sent to the hospital after a painful sting from a caterpillar caused her arm to swell up.
It is believed that Adrie Chambers was playing under a tree at her Rockwall daycare when a caterpillar fell out of the tree and landed on her arm. After being stung, Adrie's arm started to swell and she complained of pain in her arm and stomach. When the teachers at the daycare checked Adrie's clothes, they found what was later identified as a Southern Flannel Moth Caterpillar, the most poisonous caterpillar in the country.
Michael Merchant, an entomologist with Texas A&M University, told NBCDFW that this type of caterpillar is quite common on North Texas and is regularly found in oaks, yaupons, and rose bushes. According to Merchant, the sting comes from a series of spines under the caterpillar's hair, and the venom usually causes problems for up to 12 hours,
Different people react in different ways, feeling pain in different parts of the body. I had one friend who actually felt like he was having some heart trouble or something after he got stung. So it’s not a pleasant experience.
The potential threat of the caterpillar is small though, as they will soon begin preparing cocoons for the winter. When they emerge in the Spring, they are no longer venomous.
In Adrie's case, its a good thing the teachers at the daycare were there to react when they did, as doctors told Adrie's mother that such a sting could cause the body to go numb and start shutting down.