Itchy Grubs / Caterpillars

Other insects to watch out for in the garden are hairy caterpillars – children don’t call them ‘itchy grubs’ for nothing.

Their long hairs are brittle and barbed and are designed to pierce skin and not come out. The hairs are coated with proteins that cause an irritating, allergic response. Any hairy or furry caterpillars are probably best avoided as many different species can cause itchy reactions on contact. There are even a few caterpillars, such as those of cupmoths, that have brittle spines that can pierce the skin and inject venom. Contact with these caterpillars causes a stinging sensation rather than an itch.

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