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Venomous hairy caterpillars spotted in Virginia

Venomous hairy caterpillars spotted in Virginia
Posted at 12:25 PM, Oct 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-12 13:47:12-04

Forestry officials in Virginia are warning people to stay socially distant from a venomous caterpillar that looks a little like a toupee.

In a social media post, the Virginia Department of Forestry shared a photo of a puss caterpillar taken recently in the eastern part of the state. They say there have been multiple reports of sightings of the hairy-looking caterpillars.

“The ‘hairs’ of this caterpillar are actually venomous spines that cause a painful reaction if touched. The caterpillars eat oak and elm leaves, but they can be found in parks or near structures,” the agency said in their Facebook post.

This is one of the most venomous caterpillars in the US.

The puss caterpillar emerges from its cocoon as an adult Southern flannel moth.