Venomous caterpillar sting sends Florida teen to hospital

Venomous caterpillar sting sends Florida teen to hospital
WFLA, Still photos via CNN

Fifteen-year-old Logan Pergola was volunteering with his family on Saturday in Zephyrhills, Florida, when he felt something sting him causing pain to travel up his arm and his wrist making them feel as if they were “on fire,” WFLA-TV reported.

The family was clearing trees and brush when Pergola was stung, and a rash began to creep up his arm before spreading to his chest.

Pergola told Bay News 9 that, at first, “It just hurt like a small scratch.”

His mother, Andrea, tried to clean the wound but Logan wasn’t getting any better and the pain was getting worse.

“Then, all of a sudden, my arm went numb and I felt a burning,” he said.

“My father saw the caterpillar, put on gloves and picked it up,” Andrea told WFLA. “We put it in a baggie and began doing some research on it quickly.”

Andrea quickly discovered her son had been stung by an asp caterpillar.

“We found out that this particular caterpillar has poisonous hair on it and also has venomous glands,” she said. “We knew we had to get him to the emergency room.”

At the ER, doctors immediately knew what they were working with, especially with the caterpillar in the bag.

According to WFLA, Logan received an IV, a high dose of Benadryl, prednisone and other medications.

“After about three hours, he finally opened his eyes and began talking to us,” Andrea said.

Logan recovered and offered advice.

“I would tell anyone out there to wear gloves,” he said. “I wasn’t wearing any.”

Bay 9 News reports that the asp caterpillar, or southern flannel moth, can be found throughout Florida, commonly around oak and elm trees. It usually has distinct fur that can signal that it’s dangerous to touch.