Surgeons remove prickly caterpillar parts from infant's tongue, cheek

A Canadian mother put out a dire warning for other parents after her 8-month-old daughter underwent emergency surgery to remove pieces of a prickly caterpillar that had gotten stuck to her tongue and cheek.

“ATTN PARENTS!!” Krystal Dawn Pyne posted on May 31. “Watch out for those cute fuzzy orange and black caterpillars!! I am currently at the hospital with my 8-month-old daughter after she put a caterpillar in her mouth.”

Pyne, of Nanaimo, British Columbia, said her daughter Kenzie was outside on the back deck with her 3-year-old brother eating a cookie. Pyne said she had just finished the cookie when she let out a scream.


“It was about time for her morning nap and I figured she must be hungry and/or tired so I made her a bottle,” Pyne posted.

But the infant didn’t want anything to do with the bottle and had become inconsolable.

“As I’m trying to figure out what is wrong with her, she had her mouth open while crying and I noticed the inside of her mouth had some blackness to it,” she wrote. “I figured maybe she got a bug in her mouth so I grabbed a wet cloth to wipe the inside of her mouth, but it wasn’t wiping off and the black remained.”

Pyne said she started to panic and rushed her to a local hospital where a nurse mentioned that her child had gotten black on her mouth while sucking on a caterpillar.

“Finally the doctor came in and as soon as I mentioned the caterpillar to him, he said that is exactly what it is and all the hairs are stuck to her tongue and the tentacles are fused to her cheek,” Pyne posted.

The caterpillar was allegedly identified as a silver spotted tiger moth, CBC reported. The hairs can reportedly cause a stinging, burning sensation.

Pyne said Kenzie was sedated and rushed via ambulance to another hospital in Victoria, where surgeons removed 98 percent of the caterpillar parts.

“Microscopic pieces they couldn’t get were left behind,” she said. “She is doing much better, eating and in high spirits.”

Pyne has since shared that Kenzie has made a full recovery.