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Lepidopteran Caterpillars Cause Swelling

A reader approached us with a question about a literal brush with nature. While outside, she accidentally brushed her ankle against a caterpillar. Very quickly, she noticed her ankle swelling. She’s curious what type of caterpillar this might be, and has sent in a picture to help us identify it. Continue reading [...]

Caterpillar in Bed is a Mystery

While a lot of us let our cats or dogs sleep in bed with us, it’s unlikely there is anyone who wants any sort of worm in their bed. Unfortunately, that is exactly the situation that one reader has encountered. Continue reading [...]
cutworm

Tan Worm is Probably a Cutworm

We believe a reader found a cutworm, which is a name to describe some species of caterpillars, on his pillow. We have no idea why this specimen was on his bed! Continue reading [...]
azalea caterpillar

Red and Black “Worms” are Azalea Caterpillars

A reader found plenty of azalea caterpillars in a plant in her yard. These caterpillars are in the process of defoliating the plant, but the plants should bounce back fine for next season. Continue reading [...]

Stinging Caterpillar is Probably a Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Our reader writes to us to help identify what "looks like a cross between a slug and a worm or a caterpillar. The bottom is smooth like a slug, the top is brown and appears to have fine hair or bristles, it has short legs like a caterpillar." The reader continues to describe the specimen as having three ridges down its back with a few white feathery tufts on the sides, approximately 1 and 1/2 inches long with a head like a leaf roller, and a tail that looks like hair strands. When her husband found it on his leg, he reported it felt as though it was "stinging" him.We didn't receive a photograph of this worm or larvae, but it does sound like this caterpillar, identified at this website as a wooly worm, but which is actually a banded or spotted tussock moth caterpillar (Halysidota tessellaris Continue reading [...]
caterpillar

Several Types of “Worms” Inhabit RV

One of our readers reached out to us to voice her concerns about finding various worms in her RV. Just when she thinks she has found and disposed of the final one, another one pops up. The situation is causing her a lot of anxiety. Continue reading [...]