So this co-worker is telling me about one of our vendors getting sent to the emergency room last week. It seems that he was bitten by a “tree asp” and the reaction became life-threatening within an hour.
“Isn’t that the snake in the pit in Raiders of the Lost Ark? I had no idea that we had asps here,” I said. “Garden snakes, sure, water mocs and rattlers occasionally, but I’d be surprised if I saw an asp.”
“No,” she says, “it’s a tree pest, like a bug. They leave little ball-shaped coccoons about 1/4 inch wide on the underside of leaves. Don’t touch them, or they’ll send you to the emergency room too!”
I’ve seen these little coccoon-like things on the bottoms of leaves, but I never thought they would hurt me. I’m guessing it’s a bug that hatches from the ball that does the actual biting, though I haven’t found any yet.
I’ve been googling and looking over Wikipedia, but I can’t find hide nor hair of these “tree asps” – I’m beginning to suspect that I’ll find them mentioned in the same article as the noble mountain squid and the stoic jackelope.
Does anyone know what the deal is? Am I being whooshed, is there a legitimate concern about these coccoons, and/or can one find “tree asps” in northern Texas?