Question: I was working around some shrubs the other day, and I got stung by what I thought was probably a harmless caterpillar. How common are these pests?

Answer: There are several different types of stinging caterpillars in Texas. Most common of them all is the puss caterpillar, called “asps” by many Texans. They’re cream-colored small larvae that have ridged backs. It’s along those ridges that the stinging hairs are found. You could also be stung by larvae of the Hag moth and Io moth, among others. You can control any of them with most general-purpose insecticides, including “”Bt.” Best advice for kids and adults alike, assume any caterpillar to be capable of stinging. Most won’t, but if you don’t handle any of them, you won’t have to worry.

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