It’s a hair-raising pose.
A subspecies of hairy caterpillars – considered the most poisonous in the United States – was recently spotted in Virginia.
The state’s Department of Forestry warns residents against looking for cottony caterpillars, which appear soft and furry – but hide sharp spines that can stick to human skin.
“The hairs of this caterpillar are actually poisonous spines that cause a painful reaction if touched,” the agency wrote on Facebook.
Cousin Itt’s venomous backbone can cause symptoms that include severe pain, rash, itching, nausea, and vomiting when touched or touched, according to the University of Michigan.
Last month, a woman in Richmond, Virginia went to the emergency room after a tour with one of these so-called “toxic wigs.”
“It just felt like a burning knife was running through my rib on the outside,” Crystal Spindle Gaston told Virginia Mercury.
Even after I was treated with antihistamines and over-the-counter pain medications, Gaston said the “bite spot” felt like a second or third degree burn, and it felt so sore, like my bones hurt. “
A mother in Florida, whose son responded to a fog bug in 2018, said he had suffered “the worst pain he had ever felt”.
Measuring less than 2 inches, fearsome reptiles feed on shade trees such as elm, oak and sycamore and are usually found in the southern states, heading north to Maryland and west into Texas.
Their mysterious appearance has also drawn comparisons to President Trump’s hair over the years.