Buck Moth infestation is again upon us. The prickly black buggers pack a sting that can cause some serious discomfort. Because they are so small and darkly colored, pets don’t always notice them when they’re walking, or going around trees and even porch railings. Read the rest of this post to learn the three simple steps SPS recommends to help relieve the pain of stinging caterpillars.
First, a little backstory: Buck Moths lay their eggs in the trees and as the caterpillars grow they can drop from the trees in addition to hiding under leaves or around roots. Brett Will Taylor provides a much more entertaining explanation.
If the idea of raining bugs isn’t bad enough, these particular creepy crawlers are covered in tiny little spines attached to tiny little poison sacs that pack a not-so-tiny punch. The sensation is similar to a bee sting including a burning sensation and inflammation that can last for several days. For smaller humans and animals, a sting can also cause nausea for the first few hours after contact.
But Fear Not! The trained and seasoned team at SPS knows just how to deal with the dreaded Buck Moth sting for pets and people alike:
- Do Not Scratch! – The sting happens when the little barbs get into the skin. Scratching will drive the hair-like barbs in farther and just make things worse.
- Duct Tape Fixes Anything – use regular tape (or duct tape) to try and pull out the barbs. Put the sticky tape on top of the stung area and pull it away a couple of times.
- Toothpaste – a paste of baking soda and water can be applied to relieve some of the swelling and discomfort. Know what paste usually already has baking soda? Toothpaste!
Those simple steps will help relieve some of the discomfort that comes with a stung paw or hand. As always, prevention is the best remedy, so be sure to keep an eye out and avoid the stinging caterpillars. The SPS team is always sure to take special care with the pets we care for, and we love sharing our knowledge to help make everyone’s pet happier and healthier.