During our walk “around” the block with Will this evening, Paul placed his hand on a neighborhood tree to steady himself as he picked up Will and tip-toed through some puddles of water on the sidewalk. After he placed Will down past the puddles, he turned to me and said that his hand was stinging from splinters that just then had caught his hand when he touched the tree. I looked at his hand, but it didn’t look like splinters — in only seconds, welts had begun to rise and the sting he intially felt was getting stronger.
It was our first experience with the buck moth caterpillar — one of the four varieties of caterpillars currently covering Louisiana trees. And of the four, the buck moth stings. Paul must have brushed his hand along the venomous spikes on it’s back. After icing his hand for a few hours this evening, he’s doing fine. According to the information we found about the venom, the stings are comparible to bee stings and discomfort can stick around for a few days. I guess that we should feel lucky… Will notices these caterpillars and has enthusiastically pointed at (and ‘accidently’ stomped on) them. It’s practically a miracle he hasn’t tried to pick one up yet! Now we know to look out for them and make sure that he steers clear.
Watch out for the caterpillars!!