SOUTHLAKE (CBSDFW.COM) — After moving a tree branch out of the way on a walk through his Southlake neighborhood, 14-year-old Aroosh Sathu felt a burst of severe pain.
It was an asp caterpillar attached to the branch that stung Sathu — inflicting a burning, radiating pain.
“At first I just felt numb, but by the time I was home, I was in severe pain,” he said. “The actual caterpillar was digging its hairs, I guess, into two of my fingers.”
The asp caterpillar even has quite the harmless appearance, being described as a ball of fur.
However, that’s not the case.
“Even though it looks like it is covered by hair, there are hundreds of tiny stingers underneath that hair,” Sathu said.
And as temperatures rise, so do the number of calls to the North Texas Poison Center.
Public Health Education Manager at Parkland Christina Thomas said from creepy crawlers to slithery snakes, they handle it all.
“The two past years combined we’ve received over 1,500 calls just related to bites and stings,” Thomas said. “We do get calls about the Brown recluse and spiders in general.”
But because some of these venomous creatures look similar to common house spiders, Thomas said it could lead to a dangerous misidentification.
“[The] Brown recluse is venomous, actually causes an infection to the tissue,” she said.
There are also four venomous snakes she said North Texas should look out for: Copperheads, Cottonmouths, Rattlesnakes and Coral snakes.
Thomas shared that if these snakes do bite, one should not use a tourniquet, try to suck the venom out or cut the bite site. She advises to just keep it “nice, clean and dry,” but says the best way to avoid bites is to avoid snakes altogether.
But for Sathu, he couldn’t avoid his sting.
His mom called the poison center for help, where they told her to use tape to remove the spines and ice the area to dull the pain.
“My advice is don’t touch it,” Sathu said. “It may look cute and furry but really, its not fun.”