BRIMFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Gypsy moth caterpillars are known for eating the leaves of acres and acres of trees, but a week after the caterpillars invaded the towns of Brimfield and Holland, many people there are reporting rashes and skin irritation after coming into contact with these fuzzy inchworms.
Brimfield parent Ashley Hayward told 22News that people she knows have developed skin problems.
“I know friends and their children can’t even go outdoors, and they have bumps that stay on them for over a week; itching and pretty much hard to control,” Hayward said.
22News found out that there are remedies that can lessen the discomfort. Granby pharmacist Lee Lalonde has a knowledge of what happens when someone comes in contact with a caterpillar.
“When it goes on the skin, you’ll get a rash, some redness. A simple antihistamine will clear them up. Something like calamine lotion, hydrocortisone, Benadryl,” Lalonde said.
Lalonde said that within a matter of hours, the topical treatment will stop itching and heal the rash.
However, there is no remedy to quickly get rid of the gypsy moth caterpillars. The best that the eastern Hampden County residents can hope for is a heavy rain that will cultivate a fungus that helps kill-off the gypsy moth population.