Caterpillar that's new to Pennsylvania can cause skin rashes


STATE COLLEGE — The bad news is that a Canadian caterpillar now found in Pennsylvania can cause a nasty rash. The good news is that most cases can be treated at home with lotion and ice, though it'll cause several hours of discomfort.

WJAC-TV says there have been many recently reported cases in State College and elsewhere in central Pennsylvania.

The white hickory tussock moth caterpillar is to blame.

The caterpillar's fuzzy black spines contain venom they use to ward off predators. But it can also irritate human skin.

State College resident Bryant Martin says he and his 5-year-old son learned that the hard way. The boy was letting the caterpillar crawl on his hand Sunday and developed a rash minutes later.

MedExpress Dr. Joseph Betz says the rash is only temporary.