What exactly is an ASP? Well, let us show you!
What is an asp?! Also known as the Puss Caterpillar. *barf* Where do they live? WHY DO THEY HURT SOOOO MUCH?! Living in the southern US, specifically Texas we have been seeing people posting about Asps in their yards, and after getting stung by one two days ago, we learned all we could about them and then went on this Asp Hunting Trip!
After seeing post after post about these “caterpillars” we had to go take a look for ourselves! Sadly after only a couple of minutes of hunting we found several lurking in the trees.. It was terrifying! They were everywhere in all the oak trees surrounding our back patio. I got stung on the wrist by one the other day and I will tell you it was intense excruciating pain. At first it felt like a pin prick then slowly developed into what I can only describe as having my wrist locked into a metal clamp being lit with a blow torch and someone continually slamming a 20 pound sledge hammer on top of that. The pain lasted for about 4-6 hrs then it just felt tender to the touch.
The best-known flannel moth and stinging caterpillar in Texas is the puss moth caterpillar, commonly called an “Asp.” This caterpillar is often abundant and may infest shade trees and shrubbery around homes, schools, and in parks. They are of little importance as enemies of shade trees, but they can cause a horrible sting. When a puss moth caterpillar rubs or is pressed against the skin, venomous spines stick into the skin, causing a severe burning sensation and rash. Since then we’ve read to take duct tape and apply over the sting and rip it off fast to remove the stingers. Living in the country we’ve had our fair share of “cactus injuries” so the duct tape trick has been used several times here. Never for asps!! Much like the copperheads that slither around our land we will now have to be on the look out for puss caterpillars!
BEWARE THE KILLER ASP!