American Dagger Moths Can Be Toxic

Category Advice

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.

Advertisement

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

Add your voice! Click below to comment. ThriftyFun is powered by your wisdom!

October 15, 20081 found this helpful

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

Reply Was this helpful? 1
By jamochalover (Guest Post)
October 17, 20080 found this helpful

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

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
August 6, 20180 found this helpful

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

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
August 7, 20180 found this helpful

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

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Anonymous
August 19, 20180 found this helpful

They are common on the east cost so maybe that is where

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Anonymous
September 11, 20180 found this helpful

I live in Billings Montana & have a lot of them in my front yard where I have a large maple tree. I left my hunting boots on my front steps overnight & had one in each boot this morning. Now my toes are stinging like I stepped on cactus.

Advertisement

I put After Bite cream on them & that helped a lot. Obviously, don't leave boots or shoes out when they're around. I guess they thought they were big stinky cartoons & were saving themselves the trouble of making there own

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
July 20, 20190 found this helpful

Deck hives are the worst

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
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.

Advertisement

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.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
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.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Anonymous
July 27, 20180 found this helpful

What type of cream?

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
September 5, 20180 found this helpful

I know this question was posed a long time ago but if you still havent found an answer, here it is. The Dagger Moth caterpillar is not very toxic. It causes mild skin irritation and a rash on someone with sensitive skin.

Advertisement

Maybe that person was somehow allergic to it and that's why they got hives but generally to a large population of people out there it's not really going to bother them that much.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Anonymous
September 27, 20180 found this helpful

Hey guys today I thought I would do a project and take a caterpillar in my house and see if it would turn into a butterfly I have touched this multiple times and now Im afraid that Im gonna get very sick

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Anonymous
September 12, 20190 found this helpful

I just had one crawling on me and I thought I was stuck with a hundred needles it hurt like hell. I took 2 showers and it still hurt a little

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
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.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
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

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
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!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
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.

Advertisement

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.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Anonymous
July 22, 20180 found this helpful

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

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
August 2, 20190 found this helpful

I came in contact with one today in Northwest Ohio. He left a hair in my arm and it stings but other than thay I haven't noticed any bad sidr effects. Will keep posted. I'm also pregnant so if I start to have any symptoms at all I will be taking myself to the ER

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
August 17, 20190 found this helpful

Any reaction from the sting?

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
July 23, 20180 found this helpful

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

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
August 1, 20180 found this helpful

are the moths In moth form at all dangerous.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
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!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
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).

Advertisement

Glad to hear you found remedies for your hives!!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
August 21, 20180 found this helpful

I found one crawling along and I picked it up a FEW hours later my hand swelled up and on MY other wrist 20 oozing pimples and hives on MY leg about the size of a half dollar and MY side as well, I tried to STOP it from falling and I held it against MY t-shirt and I have stings went through MY shirt, NOW on to the next day, MY hand swelled even more and it's BURNING and numb at the same time the hives have gotten more itchy BURNING type of FEEL so I suggest you keep kids away from THEM because in kids eyes brighte yellow they will for sure want it

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Anonymous
September 1, 20181 found this helpful

I found one of these caterpillars on our back porch yesterday. It had the long fuzzy yellow hair and black spikes. I also noticed it had a black shiny head with two tiny white dots which resembled eyes although I am not sure if that is actually what they were. I did not touch it but took several pictures. Years ago my then two year old little girl played with a large fuzzy light yellow caterpillar for quite a while. Then she came to me saying her hands itched. Her little palms and fingers were bright red and so swollen they were actually bent backwards. My doctor had me give her benadryl. When she was about eight years old, she played with a smaller black and white one and had the same reaction. When she was ten I bought her a pair of "fur-lined" boots that were made in Korea. Her feet had the same reaction. It made me wonder if they make artificial fur over there using caterpillar hair?

Reply Was this helpful? 1
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.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Anonymous
August 22, 20180 found this helpful

Thanks for all the info, I have one on my window ledge as we speak. Thankfully I had the sense not to touch it. So beautiful though. I'll be caustious to keep my little dog away.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
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.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
August 16, 20180 found this helpful

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

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
August 18, 20180 found this helpful

Thanks! Looking at one right now. Also in W. PA. I know not to touch ones with spikes, but i wanted to ID it and educate my daughter about being careful.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
August 19, 20180 found this helpful

Just so you know, the part where you said that you think you have to be allergic is wrong.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
August 19, 20180 found this helpful

I will test and let everyone know

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
August 20, 20180 found this helpful

I am in Peterborough Ontario Canada and found this caterpillar on my way home today

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Anonymous
August 22, 20181 found this helpful

Im in Wisconsin and found one on my porch I didnt touch it because off the spikes !!!

Reply Was this helpful? 1
August 25, 20180 found this helpful

I had one crawl into my shirt. It really tore me up. Couldnt figure out what was stinging me.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Anonymous
August 29, 20180 found this helpful

In my yard in Toronto this summer.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
August 28, 20190 found this helpful

Also in Toronto. Crawled onto my arm and into my tshirt sleeve without me noticing. Then I felt something and thought it was the fabric and wind so ignored it. Felt something again figured it was a bug, smacked my shirt - then nothing for a while, then again near my neck I thought is that the label of the shirt? Then I turned the collar and plucked what I thought was a big label at first glance but turned out to be a big caterpillar (which from image comparison turned out to be an American Dagger Moth). Now I have a trail of hives/welts on my arm and front and back where the caterpillar had been (luckily it was crawling on the inside of the shirt but it still made contact in several areas). In each hive on my arm there was a little hair from the caterpillar sticking out. I thought it was my hairs maybe but it had no feeling and took no effort to pluck them out. I saw a tip to use a piece of tape to remove them. So far after roughly 12 hours I just have the skin reaction and none of the other reported possible symptoms so I'm hoping after 2 weeks (that I read someone else had the skin reaction for) I'll be back to normal. What a downer lol

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
September 1, 20180 found this helpful

Had one crawl up my pant leg today while sitting in a park. I heard they were poisonous so I used my pocket life to lift it off my pant leg and placed it back on the ground. About 20 minutes later while I was sitting there talking with a friend I felt stinging sensations like when a biting fly gets you on my shoulder and neck. My buddy said that catapillar was on my back of my shirt. He got it off my shirt but the whole area of my back and neck was stinging all over and felt like when you get fiberglass insulation on your skin. When I got home my wife wiped my back and neck down with rubbing alcohol and then put a cortisone gel on the areas and it helped. I took 2 benydryl and it seems to have helped and no rash yet.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
September 2, 20180 found this helpful

We live near Goderich in Ontario Canada and have been seeing them in our backyard this past week. So far we've seen 6. All different sizes. Making sure our daughter doesnt touch them.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Anonymous
September 3, 20180 found this helpful

i found one of these caterpillars on my maple tree and took it to the driveway on a leaf, and squished it with a rock...some of the juice hit my thumb and the edge of my eyelid....am i in trouble

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
September 3, 20180 found this helpful

I must have tough skin LOL... I have handled both the Yellow and the white daggger moth caterpillars over the years, and never had any reaction... although when I think about it, I didn't pet their soft fuzzy fur or their black spikes, but just let them walk on my hand. I think the toxins are in the the fur and particularly the spikes, but not their feet... I noticed there was one other person who earlier commented that they didn't have any reaction to handling them either, and I do think some people have more sensitive skin. It's certainly wise to be cautious!!! By the way, I live in Long Island, NY, and grew up summering in Cape May Point, NJ, where I first noticed these caterpillars. :-)

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
September 4, 20180 found this helpful

I just found one of those caterpillars at the base of my grandsons little playset.

I have googled it and found conflicting information. I did remove it and have took pictures to show my daughter and son inlaw.

Thank you for all your comments cause with the information shared here I am not taking any chances of my grandson getting poisoned.

We are in Shelburne Ontario.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
September 7, 20180 found this helpful

I've read the comments and just want to add that where on the body that they attach to may make a difference. Yesterday i felt a sensation on side of my face and casually brushed my hand. Turns out the sensation was a spiny yellow caterpillar that made contact with my eye when I moved my hand. I was able to get the prickly spines off my skin by applying tape and pulling it off like is done with waxing for hair removal. However, the spiny hairs seemed to lodge on my eyeball causing redness and discomfort. I wound up going to ophthalmologist who irrigated and flushed the eye to see if there was any damage to the cornea. She also prescribed lotemax eye gel drops. I have a little rash around my eyes, and she told me to monitor this. Curiously, I also developed sniffles after the caterpillar incident, so that may be another reaction.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
October 7, 20180 found this helpful

Use tape on affected area to remove stingers. Worked like a charm for me.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
July 24, 20190 found this helpful

I had one yesterday crawling on my porch 7-23-19 and I fling him into the yard and then my husband cut the grass I am hoping he ran over it. I do have tomatoe plants planted around the area but did not see any more on them and have not seen anymore any where. I do have a young dog and I was afraid she would try to eat it but as far as I know she did not. Is there anything else you can do with them if I see another one? Thanks

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
July 24, 20190 found this helpful

I came into contact with one yesterday. I am located in Brentwood Missouri. Apparently it fell out of tree I was sitting under. I was not aware this was on me until I felt a sting under my left upper arm. My instant reaction was to swat where I felt the sting. When I swat under my arm, this flew onto the ground. It felt more like when you touch a cactus with the pins and needles kind of pain at first. Now today about 24 hours from the initial sting I have developed a rash consisting many red Welt like bumps all over that arm, a portion of my other arm, and a portion on the top of my thigh. It is an ichy/burning sensation. Getting some Benadryl and will see if this will help! Just wanted to note that the rash didnt develop right away, but almost exactly 24 hours later.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
August 3, 20190 found this helpful

I found one of these caterpillars on the front porch today. I think I saw the same caterpillar on the siding of the house a few days ago. I didn't touch it or kill it, I just took a picture of it and let it be.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
August 5, 20190 found this helpful

Anyones pet ever bit one or picked it up in its mouth? My dog just did today. Freaked me out

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Anonymous
August 11, 20190 found this helpful

My Fiancé was just fixing a bike and one fell outta the tree on him and it stung him like all up his back and neck and he has little burning welts all over!! Those things are Creepy and Evil!!!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
August 12, 20190 found this helpful

Found an American Dagger Moth yesterday beginning to crawl into our garage. We have a large Maple tree in the front yard. I grabbed a stick to pick it up and when I came back, my 6 year old daughter had already scooped it up into her little palm. We made a sanctuary for it and spent the evening naming it and watching it do its thing. I put my daughter to bed and a few hours later she was complaining about having a slight tummy ache. 3 hours later she woke up crying and complaining her body itched. I ended up taking her to the emergency room because she had hives and rashes over 70% of her body and face. Oral Steriod and Benadryl with topical cream is our remedy. Day 1

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
September 7, 20190 found this helpful

We have a dead one on our deck today, must have fallen from our Maple tree...in West Michigan.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
September 14, 20190 found this helpful

I have these all over my property. They have these black stingers on the front and the back of it with yellow hair. I saw my dog stiffing something and then shaking his head as if he got stung. When I went over to see what he was doing I noticed he was sniffing at this same kind of caterpillar. I hope he is going to be ok.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Anonymous
September 16, 20190 found this helpful

From Maryland and I found one today, got curious and took pics. It did crawl a little on m

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
September 17, 20190 found this helpful

Ive had an unidentifiable rash on tops of both wrists and some around neck area! Flushing of my face and off n on chills!
Glad to know what couldve caused it. Cut back some rhododendrons and other bushes recently and carried brush to back yard!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
September 21, 20190 found this helpful

I accidentally touched one( but not by the yellow fuzz)

I washed my hands afterwards but will touching the underbelly effect me or am I K.O.?

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
October 2, 20190 found this helpful

My daughter noticed this caterpillar on my shirt and told me they were poison. I felt a little itchy on my arm but I thought it was all in my head. The next day I was itching bad so I looked and seen a large rash in my armpit, down my side and around my back. It was on my shirt, not my skin! It itches so bad!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

Add your voice! Click below to comment. ThriftyFun is powered by your wisdom!

Advertisement

Categories
Health & Beauty AdviceOctober 15, 2008
Pages
More
🌻
Gardening
📓
Back to School Ideas!
😎
Summer Ideas!
🐛
Pest Control
😷
Coronavirus Tips
Facebook
Pinterest
YouTube
Instagram
Contests!
Newsletters
Ask a Question
Share a Post
Categories
Better LivingBudget & FinanceBusiness and LegalComputersConsumer AdviceCoronavirusCraftsEducationEntertainmentFood and RecipesHealth & BeautyHolidays and PartiesHome and GardenMake Your OwnOrganizingParentingPetsPhotosTravel and RecreationWeddings
Published by ThriftyFun.
Desktop Page | View Mobile
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Contact Us
Generated 2020-08-04 19:02:11 in 2 secs. ⛅️️
© 1997-2020 by Cumuli, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
https://www.thriftyfun.com/tf84271056.tip.html

AdviceHealth & Beauty