Florida woman stung by poisonous caterpillar

Symptoms include burning, dizziness, nausea

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A Florida woman is recovering after she believes she was stung by a poisonous caterpillar.

Tara Forbes told WPTV she was sitting on a park bench, watching her son play, when she felt a burning sensation on her arm.

“My arm was out on the bench ... I thought maybe I was getting a little sunburn,” Forbes said. “I looked down and I had black and white fuzz here, and white fuzz on the inside. It just immediately felt like fire, like somebody took a flame to my skin.”

That fuzz, she said, was from a poisonous puss caterpillar. She doesn’t know if it fell from the tree, where they are known to live, or if it was on the bench when she sat down.

“My arm swelled up from my finger tips to my shoulder up into my neck and even into my chest.”

Forbes is a nurse and knew which symptoms to watch for to determine if she should go to the emergency room, WPTV reported.

A spokesperson with the city of Port St. Lucie said staff from the parks department checked out the park for poisonous caterpillars after Forbes’ report was brought to their attention.

They did not find any, but will continue to keep an eye out.

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