Gypsy moths causing rashes for CT residents - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Gypsy moths causing rashes for CT residents

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Gypsy moths are causing rashes for some residents (WFSB) Gypsy moths are causing rashes for some residents (WFSB)

The gypsy moths are not only stripping our trees of foliage, but they're also causing skin rashes on those with sensitive skin.  

Anyone who has been outside in eastern Connecticut recently has likely picked up a tiny gypsy moth in the caterpillar stage.

In the past few weeks, people with sensitive skin who've come in contact with the gypsy moth caterpillar have developed allergic-type reactions with a reddish rash or bumps.

"Being outside in the warm weather, it’s hard to avoid the Gypsy moths after the rain we've had in the last two seasons. We've seen a lot of gypsy moths,” Dr. Robert Sidman, who is the vice president of the Hartford Healthcare East Region said. “They go in cycles and this is a pretty heavy season for us."

Sidman said it’s that high density of caterpillars and sometimes people can't avoid them. People can get the rash when they come in contact with the hair on the caterpillar.

"The hairs might have a histamine type reaction,” Sidman said. “They're causing. You can get hives and itching…self-limited."

The rashes can develop on exposed skin, arms and hands and the back of the neck.

The doctors said they haven't gotten a lot of calls on these rashes, but they're mostly concentrated in the northeast part of Connecticut."

The larvae and caterpillars will be around until July. So in the meantime, health experts said if you don't spray your trees, make sure you cover up your skin and use a hydrocortisone cream if you develop a rash.

"Or just taking an over the counter antihistamine like Benadryl should take care about 98% of them,” Sidman said.

Any rash Sidman' says could last two to three days.  

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