These Caterpillars are Poisoning People in Maine, Could Hudson Valley Be Next?
Fingers crossed this doesn't happen, but it cant hurt to know what to look for.
Living in the Hudson Valley we have to deal with a lot when it comes to wildlife and bugs that are looking to do us harm. The first bug you probably think about when it comes to danger is the tick. We've all heard the nightmare stories of people finding numerous ticks on pets, themselves and sometimes both. If you don't know, some ticks in the Hudson Valley carry Lyme disease and if you know anyone that has gotten it, it's awful and could be deadly.
So we lookout for ticks anytime we spend time outside, but what else should we avoid, or be on the lookout for? How about the "browntail moth caterpillar"? According to the Times Herald Record, the browntail moth caterpillar has been causing havoc in Maine by passing along an awful rash to anyone who comes in contact with it.
The caterpillars are about 1 1/2 inches long, are dark brown with white stripes and have two orange dots on their backs. Yes they may be small but they pack quite the punch if you come in contact with one. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Maine did say that the hairs of the moth are what contain the poison and if someone comes in contact with them they can cause a reaction similar to what happens when someone comes in contact with poison ivy.
If the hairs of the caterpillar go airborne and are inhaled that's when things can get dangerous because if inhaled, respiratory distress can be serious according the CDC. No word if, or when these insects could make an appearance in New York, but to be safe, here is what to look for....