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Venomous caterpillar sends Land O' Lakes boy to ER; mom warning others

Posted at 2:21 PM, Jun 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-19 19:12:21-04

LAND O LAKES, Fla. — A local mom is warning others to be on the lookout for these venomous furry caterpillars after her son was stung while doing yard work. 

“I could see little kids picking them up and that was my big concern. That’s why I posted it,”  Andrea Pergola said. 

Her 15-year-old son Logan had to go to the emergency room after his arm brushed against a Puss Caterpillar while doing yard work. 

“On a scale of 1 to 10, it was probably like a 9,” Logan said. 

When they took him to the ER — they brought the caterpillar with them. They used thick gloves to grab it and put it in a plastic bag. 

The doctor treating Logan recognized it. 

“He said that they’re around and he’s seen them before and that he [Logan] would be fine,” Andrea said. 

She says Logan has a high pain tolerance, but the sting was one of the most painful things he’s ever experienced. 

“It kind of felt like someone was drilling into my bone and wouldn’t stop. It was horrible,” he said. 

Logan was stung on his wrist, right next to his hand. Within five minutes he said the pain spread all the way up to his elbow. 

“He was just screaming that 'it’s burning, it’s shooting up my arm - my arm is going numb,'” Andrea said. 

Within an hour his entire arm was on fire and he had a red rash all the way up to his chest. 

Even though they rushed him to the emergency room, his mom said it still took hours before he started feeling better. 

“At one point I even said I’m not leaving today and I’m staying the night, even if the doctor says I have to leave,” Logan said. 

Andrea and Logan both want others to be aware of the caterpillars so they don’t have to take a trip to the hospital too. 

“I think the big thing is he’s not a small child, he’s 15 years old - he’s over 100 pounds,” she said. “And it knocked him out bad.” 

Logan has advice for others who may come into contact with the caterpillars. 

“Wear gloves,” he said. “I wasn’t wearing gloves and I probably should have been.”