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American Dagger Moths Can Be Toxic

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Beware of hairy yellow caterpillars with black spikes. They are American dagger moths that have have toxic properties when hairs are touched. One slight brush sent me to the ER with significant hives, elevated blood pressure, facial flushing, and chills.

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I did some online research and learned that pets who innocently consume the caterpillars can also become ill enough to seek a vet's care. I am still afflicted with hives after three days and am dosing with Benedryl. One helpful hint is applying ice directly on hives and it has helped when topical cortisone and oral medications have fallen short relieving the itching.

You can Google search a photo and info about American Dagger moth and other toxic hairy caterpillars all over the US. I also found many other home remedies for hives.

By Kathy from Western PA

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Anonymous
October 15, 20080 found this helpful

Holy Cow! Never knew that and am glad you will be okay! Thanks for the heads up!

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By jamochalover (Guest Post)
October 17, 20080 found this helpful

You mentioned you had found home remedies for hives? Please share! :)

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August 6, 20180 found this helpful

I have been finding them on my deck but cant tell where they are coming from.

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August 7, 20180 found this helpful

Most likely living in/on the trees and going to your yard/porch

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July 30, 20170 found this helpful

Oddly enough, most of the research I was able to find did not mention this caterpillar's toxicity. Just that they are voracious eaters of many deciduous tree leaves. Are you absolutely certain that you may not have gotten hives from another source? I am mostly concerned because I am currently finding these caterpillars all the time in and around my garage.

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I have two large maple trees in my front yard that are most likely the place they're coming from. We have moved them from the garage to the outdoors with bare hands and have not yet experienced any allergic reactions.

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September 16, 20170 found this helpful

My son came into contact with this caterpillar and has hives/rash going from his stomach to his one knee and had to go to the hospital. Benadryl and a cream is what he has been given. Hope this helps anyone.

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Anonymous
July 27, 20180 found this helpful

What type of cream?

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August 4, 20170 found this helpful

Glad I googled this caterpillar! Came across one of these on a sidewalk in north central Iowa. Have never seen one before.

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August 10, 20170 found this helpful

I was just stroking one today I didn't know it was poisonous it just crawled on me like I was a tree it didn't bitbpr do anything predatorial

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September 26, 20170 found this helpful

I found one yesterday while mowing here in Oklahoma, brought it home to identify/watch cocoon and emerge, and today my middle finger is sooooo itchy!

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July 11, 20180 found this helpful

I had one right next to my front door today. Glad I told the kids not to touch it. The black spikes through me of. And it was yellow.

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Most creatures with those type of colors use that as a way to get prey or defense. Thanks for all the comments. I researched them, and its an American Dagger moth caterpillar alright.

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Anonymous
July 22, 20180 found this helpful

I have one in my. Sunroom. Up. In. Northern Ohio.

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July 23, 20180 found this helpful

I am covered in hives and a rash after coming in contact with if

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August 1, 20180 found this helpful

are the moths In moth form at all dangerous.

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Anonymous
August 5, 20180 found this helpful

Wow! I just found one in my backyard and took a ton of pics and videos of it! Im glad i didnt touch it!! Thanks for letting people know!

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August 6, 20180 found this helpful

I think they only cause hives/rash if you are allergic to them. As you would theoretically only know if you are allergic by handling them, it is probably better to avoid them. We have them all over the place near the Pittsburgh area, and I know dozens of people who have handled them with no issues, kids and adults. I only know of one person who experienced very minor redness and irritation after touching one for a long period of time (several minutes).

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Glad to hear you found remedies for your hives!!

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August 10, 20180 found this helpful

I found one is my backyard and almost touched it but I realized it had fur and thought it may be poisonous, and my dogs were not out at the time but my dog prolly would have eaten it because it is easy to spot.

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August 14, 20180 found this helpful

Scary. I caught one (thankfully without touching it) and I am keeping with me until it "blooms" or turns into a moth. Thanks for the advise and when I release it I will make sure not to touch it.

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August 16, 20180 found this helpful

Thank you for this helpful information! There are some of these in our sub in Plymouth, Michigan.

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August 19, 20180 found this helpful

I will test and let everyone know

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August 19, 20180 found this helpful

(Describe Your Image Here)

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