There is quite possibly no place on earth more beautiful than Florida. Its tropical beauty, blue green water, and temperate climate make it ideal for play and relaxation. For this reason, millions call it home and hundreds of thousands visit it every year, from every corner of the globe. But humans aren't the only creatures on the planet that love the temperate climate in Florida.
Through the years many new pests have been introduced to Florida, and, not surprisingly, they have been more than happy to stay. The imported red fire ant nibbles on our toes, swarms of love bugs splatter our windshields, and, Formosan subterranean termites devour our homes almost before the paint can dry--making pest control an essential part of home protection here in the Sunshine state.
It seems as though there is always some kind of bug in the news, and we're almost desensitized to it. We hear about mosquitoes spreading the chikungunya and dengue viruses. We hear about head lice making its way through our schools-- and bed bugs waging a relentless assault on our resorts and our homes. But recent news of a new species of caterpillar is enough to make even the most resilient Floridian's skin crawl.
The puss caterpillar, which is the larva stage of the flannel moth (Megalopyge opercularis) has begun appearing in trees across the state. Scientists warn residents to steer clear of these furry caterpillars because their fur is covered in a venom that causes intense pain, and even vomiting and convulsions. Some say this pain is worse than a jellyfish, bee or scorpion. Yikes!
The flannel moth is a beautiful and exotic-looking insect, but the puss caterpillar, its larva stage, is considered to be one of the most venomous caterpillars in the United States. This larva stage can last up to 6 months.
Puss caterpillars are known to fall from trees. If you intend to be traveling in an area that has these exotic moths, be aware of your surroundings. If you noticed flannel moths around your home, be aware of the danger they can pose.
There is no specific pest control treatment that will keep puss caterpillars out of a home, but standard insect exclusion can help. Routinely inspect screens, weather stripping and door sweeps to make sure they are all in good working order. If you have any rotted holes or gaps, use a caulking gun to fill them. Examine all your windows to be sure that there are no entry points. And, make sure vents and other openings are covered with window grade screen.
Enjoy your life here in Florida, but know that you can enjoy it a little easier with this info from McCall Service. If you have any questions or concerns regarding insects, bugs, or pests, contact us here, or give us a call (888-409-0938), because here at McCall, we do it all!