According to Texas A & M University, the Megalopyge opercularis also known as “flannel moths” are here and dangerous!
The caterpillar larval form of the flannel moth, grow to about 1 inch long and have long “furry” looking “hair”. This “hair” can be fluffy and look stroke-worthy: DON’T!
Also known as Asps, these caterpillars tend to live in trees and bushes, and must be avoided as their setae, or “hairs”, are poisonous.
Although these Asp caterpillars tend to be nocturnal (active at night), look cute, stroke-able, and, touch-able, don’t.
Be careful when you or children may be playing in or around trees.
The caterpillars can land on your bare skin, discharging their poisons.
The result ? Skin irritation or even death!
NEVER touch any caterpillar!
There are several stinging caterpillars in Texas. The caterpillars of the io moth Automeris io (Fabriciu saturniidae); the hag moth, Phobetron pithecium, and the buck moth, Hemileuca maia, as well as the saddleback caterpillar, Sibine stimulea, should all be avoided.
Although once as adult moths they tend to not be poisonous, it’s better to avoid any life form you do not completely understand.