Some common stinging caterpillars are the saddleback, tussock moth, puss moth, hag moth, Io moth, Isa moth and spiny oak slug (Figures 213-219). All feed on the leaves of various trees and shrubs between March and September and are capable of causing severe reactions in certain people.
The caterpillars are equipped with stinging spines located over their bodies. Each spine is connected to a poison gland that injects venom when touched. Children should be taught not to handle caterpillars unless they are recognized as harmless species. Wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants will prevent many brushes with these caterpillars while pruning trees and shrubbery or just taking a stroll through the woods.