What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Green Spiky hair catepillar
Location: Johannesburg suburbs, South Africa
January 10, 2015 2:28 am
Hi There,
I have lived in Johannesburg, South Africa my whole life & I have never seen these caterpillar before. There seem to be loads of them in our garden – every where you look. It is currently the peak of summer here. I have attached a picture of one of them.
Could you please help me identify this & if it is dangerous in anyway to humans, pets or plants? And should they be something we need to try get rid of? If so, is there a way to do this & even a way to rather deter them than killing them – I dont like the idea of having to kill them.
Signature: Kind regards Katie Francis

Stinging Slug Caterpillar

Stinging Slug Caterpillar

Dear Katie,
We do not provide extermination advice.  We believe these are Stinging Slug Caterpillars in the family Limacodidae, and though we did not locate an exact match to your individuals, this image from iSpot is quite similar looking.  Careless handling or accidentally brushing up against a Stinging Slug Caterpillar may result in a painful reaction to the spines and the symptoms may last several days.

Stinging Slug Caterpillars

Stinging Slug Caterpillars

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa

14 Responses to Stinging Slug Caterpillars from South Africa: Latoia vivida

  1. Jay says:

    I accidentally stepped on one of these in the dark and my toe is in flames. What’s the best treatment for something like this? I have checked and no spines remain only the stinging sensation.

    • bugman says:

      a paste of baking soda and water is good for drawing out Honey Bee venom, but we don’t know if it will work on a Stinging Slug Caterpillar. You might want to seek advice from a local doctor or clinic. We are pretty certain you are not the first to be stung in the vicinity.

  2. M. Pekar says:

    Today I discovered this stinging slug caterpillar Latoia vivida eaten all leaves on my
    Jasmines. Collected about 30 still alive in plastic bag.
    How to control this spread ? Any chemical recommended ?
    We live in Johannesburg South Africa.

  3. Angelica Blake says:

    I also live in Johannesburg (south). In January for the first time in the 5 years I have been living in my house I had never seen them until one day my 2 year old daughter got stung by what I thought was a wasp when she touched a hedge but turned out to be a stinging slug caterpillar, I have a very large hedge and each day I went and armed with a fork (to removed them) and container I removed about 60 a day. I think in all I managed to collect over 400. I have been stung 6 times and the pain is terrible…it lasts for hours. My husband got stung and it looked like a 10cm chemical burn 2 weeks later. I also found them migrating to another hedge on the grass and with two small active kiddies I had to take immediate action. Fast forward to now and I think I have found about 1. So I think I have won the war. They drown in water very easily so just leave them in a container of water,.

  4. Grum Gee says:

    I found this page while searching for info on caterpillars when my friend’s daughter was stung. An amazing remedy for stings, burns, rashes, sunburn (and much more) is cannabis oil or cannabis infused olive oil. It’s the cannabinoids that do the trick.

  5. Andries says:

    Also had it kept them in a bug box and they made cocoons almost year later and the moths emerged today

    Green moth with brown edged wings.

  6. margareth says:

    Yesterday my grand daughter of 6 got stung by a hairy caterpillar. within hours it left a large blister and today which is the following day she is down with diarhorea. I am very allergic to spiders as her grandmother and advised my daughter to watch her reactions and take her to doctor.

  7. margareth says:

    Yesterday evening I started to feel unwell like thick head, a feeling of blood too thick to move. my heart was racing. I live a long way out of town but was so ill I considered contacting someone to fetch me and take me to hospital. I drank allergex and warfarin and disprin. This morning I have three smallest spider bites on my upper arm. Does this need hospital attention or can I just carry on with the allergex?

  8. Michael du Plessis says:

    I was stung by a stinging slug caterpillar about two hours ago while brushing against a bushes leaves . Firstly I has this burning sensation and had thought that the Bush itself has stinging spines . Tried washing it in pool water ..no luck . ran to the kitchen for some bicarbonate of soda and applied it in a paste ….no luck.. my wife brought me an antihistamine cream for stings …also no good .So two hours later, my hands are not stinging as painfully but the nerves are still burning . Bearable but sore
    . Like getting stitches .. same burning sensation . Terrible little creature. Never had them in my garden before . Wont go sticking my hands into bushes again without gloves

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