We here at South Pleasantburg Nursery are very concerned about your well being and safety! Not only do we care about you while you’re here visiting, we also care about you while you’re out playing in your own yard.
We’d like to take a second and give you a heads up on three seemingly cute, but painful caterpillars that are out this time of year. Don’t be scared, the likelyhood of you stumbling across one of these…interesting looking…caterpillars are pretty rare, but knowing what to look for will keep you safe.
These have the potential to hurt, so approach with caution. If anything, grab a camera and send us a pic! It’ll make us proud!
Saddleback Caterpillar(this was actually spotted today, but sadly too late, by one of our employees. She’s recovering from some serious swelling on the hand and a really bad bellyache)
The Saddleback has been called may of names, some of them Politically Correct such as Saddle Pack, Back Saddle…all variations of that grouping of words, but upon encountering one unintentionally you’ll want to call it by some other, more colorful name.
This Caterpillar hosts on fleshy perennials such as plants from the Aster, Viburnum and other Hardwood Trees (Maples and Elms). They have also been spotted on common plants that just about everybody has, such as Dogwoods and Roses.
The Saddleback contains horns on both ends – - so its hard to tell if they’re coming or going. Although the horns look like they mean business, its actually the tiny little hairs along its side that secrete an irritating venom that can lead to skin rash and nausea. Wash the area with cold water and mild soap and keep ice on the area until the pain abates.
Hag Moth(For some reason, typing this your fingers always want to go the extra two letters and type Hag Mother…try it, you’ll see what I mean)
The Hag Moth has been described to look kind of like a slug wearing a fur coat with too many arms. Although it looks pretty harmless, cuddly even, don’t fall into its trap. These also are armed with a pubescent body that will sting you and make for an unhappy afternoon.
They are commonly found in wooded areas living happily in Oaks, Walnuts and other Hardwoods. They’re not AS common as the Saddleback but still caution should be taken, especially if hiking or cleaning out brushy areas.
Puss Moth Caterpillar(Don’t confuse it with some random clump of hair)
These, much like our other two suspects have a residence in Hardwood Forests but can also travel into your very own back yard. They pose no threat to the plants that they’re feeding off of, but they do cause a threat to you and your skin.
These ALSO contain a hairy body that will put some burn in your bonnet if you come into contact with them. (Big Surprise huh!) If you come in contact with one of these not so cuddly bugs, place an ice pack on the area and if possible take an oral antihistamine to help with any reaction you may encounter.—have you noticed none of these are turning into beautiful butterflies?—