The formidable sting of the asp struck seven Upper School girls, Nov. 6. An asp, or “puss caterpillar,” is a type of furry caterpillar whose venomous spines produce a painful skin rash upon contact. Within five minutes, the stung area will develop an intense, throbbing sensation that may spread to other regions.The symptoms may last for up to five days, but most disappear within one day.
The asp phenomenon managed to cause enough terror to warrant a Twitter account, SJS Asps (@sjs_asps). The account tweets quips such as, “Float like a butterfly; sting like an asp.” While these social media jokes may be amusing, asps are no laughing matter.
“You don’t even know where they are,” sophomore Sloan Rucker said. “I didn’t even see the asp. No one is safe.”
A dastardly asp stung Sloan’s thumb while she was moving a lacrosse goal, and shortly afterward she began to experience the textbook symptoms of sharp pain.
“If you were to be stung in the right place, you could feel like you’re dying,” sophomore Elly Berge said. You get random pains in your abs, and the whole muscles of your legs start cramping up. It felt like it was infecting my entire body.”
After getting stung, Berge tried to start walking but experienced a powerful burning sensation in her leg. She nearly had to be carried to the nurse.
“If you see an asp, don’t ever come in contact with it,” Berge said. “If you feel like you’ve been stung, go straight to the nurse.”
Most over-the-counter painkillers plus time can remedy an asp sting. Psychological traumas not included.