Attention Texans, Don’t Touch This Cute Little Caterpillar Or Else
Spring is here and things are in bloom. This usually means plenty of creepy crawlies to go along with it. I'm not a stranger when it comes to things that crawl along the ground. During my radio career in New Mexico, I'd find centipedes and scorpions in my bathtub that had crawled up through the drain pipe almost on a daily basis. Growing up through scouting I've also had my share of bites and stings. They're no fun. That's why when I notice something like this, I like to pass it along.
According to Caterpillar Identification, there's a cute, fuzzy little guy showing up in Texas that's dangerous to the touch. It's the American Dagger Moth Caterpillar. It may look soft enough to pet, but you could regret doing so. Fortunately, this fellow is pretty easy to spot. Its yellow color is hard to miss along with its fuzzy, soft lashes and its black head. They typically have four black bristles and they're starting to pop up in bad places, including children's playgrounds.
Beware. Touching one can bring on a rash and skin irritation that'll drive you crazy with itching and pain. Catapillar Identification states the hairs on these little guys can break off into the skin and sting, even causing hives. They reach a length of about two inches.
It may look soft enough to pet, but you could regret doing so.
These little guys have a diet of leaves eating them close to the stem. During the day you'll find them nestled within some shelter. They are nocturnal and only come out at night to feed. In its adult form, the American Dagger Moth is gray in color with black lines toward the bottom of its wings.
Moths are annoying but nothing compared to the rash and skin irritation you could get if you touch one in its larvae form.
Spring is here and there are plenty of insects and pests headed our way. Did you know that the state of Texas has an official insect? I had no clue. In fact, Texas has a bunch of official critters. Look below and you'll see what I mean.