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ENVIRONMENT | Toxic caterpillars

8-month-old has surgery to remove caterpillar from mouth


Cheryl Santa Maria
Digital Reporter

Wednesday, June 6, 2018, 4:45 PM - A mother in Nanaimo, B.C. is issuing a warning after her eight-month-old required emergency surgery to remove parts of a caterpillar from her mouth.

Krystal Pavan says her daughter Kenzie was playing on the family's back deck last week when she suddenly started screaming.

(RELATED: SIX TOXIC CRITTERS THAT CAN BE FOUND IN CANADA)

Pavan looked inside her daughter's mouth and saw a black substance that wouldn't wipe away. Kenzie also appeared to have a serious burns inside her mouth.

At the hospital, doctors determined the little girl had eaten a caterpillar which had become fused to her cheek. In a Facebook warning, Pavan said she'd seen many of the same caterpillars in her backyard.

Kenzie underwent emergency surgery and is expected to make a full recovery.

While it's not clear what type of caterpillar Kenzie ate, Pavan described it as black and orange. 

It may have been part of the tiger moth family. The hairs on these types of caterpillars are known to cause stinging, irritation and allergic reactions in humans and animals.

THE DANGERS OF FUZZY CATERPILLARS

Not all fuzzy caterpillars pose a danger to mammals -- but if you ever come across one it's better to err on the side of caution and leave it alone.

While many will cause slight irritation, others -- like the puss caterpillar -- can cause convulsions and intense pain worse that that of a scorpion or jellyfish sting.

VIDEO: A CATERPILLAR INFESTATION THAT PLAGUES CANADIAN HOMES



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