Subject: Got bit
Location: Belleville, Ontario, Canada
June 29, 2016 10:41 am
I got stung… bit? by this caterpillar. I tried looking online and I think it is a gypsy moth caterpillar but I have no idea if that’s correct or not. I am really hoping its not going to be anything serious. It was in Belleville, Ontario end of June. So far I am only seeing a red bump where it bit or stung me and a little rash around the area, but its only been 20 minutes. Hope you can help identify.
Based on this BugGuide image, we concur that you have correctly identified a Gypsy Moth Caterpillar, Lymantria dispar. BugGuide does not mention stinging or urticating hairs, but according to the Penn State University Entomology Department: “Some people are dermally allergic to the caterpillars. The urticating hairs cause skin rashes on some humans. This is most noticeable in May when larvae are small. Children appear to be more prone to this problem than adults.”