Don’t touch!

Watch out when touching hairy caterpillars. Not all of them are harmful, but some can cause an allergic reaction on your skin.

The Oat Eggar (Lasiocampa quercus) caterpillar is one of those that needs to be treated with care. Touching the hair of the caterpillar is somewhat similar to touching nettles. To protect itself from predators, the caterpillar also builds its cocoon using the same hair.

I couldn’t resist testing what happens on my skin after gently rubbing the surface of the cocoon against my wrist. The reaction, a nasty, itchy allergy. The interesting part of the test was that the allergy remained for about 6 weeks, leaving a visible rush and occasional itch. The conclusion? Don’t touch!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s