Caterpillars covered in venomous spines invade town and leave residents vomiting

Caterpillars covered with venomous spines have invaded town and caused neighbours to vomit, sweat and swell.

Known as the puss caterpillars, the poisonous creepy crawlies invasion has sparked official warnings of an outbreak.

The hairy insect is covered in venomous spikes that cause intense pain, fever and symptoms of shock when they are touched.

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The beastly creature resides in the southern states of America and has crawled its way to Virginia.

Reports claim there have been numerous sightings of the puss and injuries have been so severe that some people have been rushed to hospital.

Officials say there has been an “outbreak” and plunged the town into fear.

The puss caterpillar is the larva of the southern flannel moth, but before it spreads it wings, the creature is deemed a danger to the public, MailOnline reports.

The terrorising furry beasts grow from 1.2 inches to 1.4 inches and their bodies are completely hidden under a coat of thick hair.

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One Richmond resident, Crystal Spindel Gaston, told the Daily Progress that she felt “excruciating pain” when she touched the puss.

She said: “It felt exactly like a scorching-hot knife passing through the outside of my calf.”

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The 55-year-old added: “Before I looked down to see where it came from, I thought 100% I was going to see a big piece of metal, super sharp, sticking out from my car.”

Mrs Gaston said she did not recognise the furry alien-like creature clinging to her car.

She said: “That’s when my brain really flipped out because I just didn’t know what I was looking at.

“I knew it was probably an animal or a hive or a cocoon or something, but it was no shape of any animal I had ever seen. It was a cross between like a mouse and a slug.”

It took her three days and a trip to the hospital to recover from the “white hot pain”.

Eric Day, manager of Virginia Tech’s Insect Identification Lab, said that there has been an “outbreak” this year.

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Virginia Tech said in a statement: “A person ‘stung’ by a poisonous caterpillar should immediately wash the affected area to remove any insect hairs and poison that remain on the skin.

“Adhesive tape can be applied to the skin and removed quickly to pull out some of the hairs embedded in the skin.”

 

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