WORM BITE SPECIALIST: An explanation of sorts

In a previous post, there is a picture of a building with the words "Worm Bite Specialists" from downtown Puerto Viejo. Curious about these worms, we began to inquire here and there about them. After chatting with Luis, our guide from the Cahuita Nat'l Park walk and with Liam, our terrific British bartender from Mango Cafe, this is the deal.

They're not worms, per se
. They are caterpillars, but sometimes called Fire Worms. They fall out of the almond trees onto either you or the ground and then you can step on them - accidentally, of course. What then transpires is a dull pain for a moment where the caterpillar touched you. After a few moments, a searing pain shoots up your appendage and then stops at the top, i.e., you've brushed against one of these fiendish caterpillars with your hand (this happened to Liam) and then the pain travels straight up your arm, but stops at your shoulder and does not spread. Or you step on one with your foot (like Liam's girlfriend) and then pain rushes up your leg, but stops at your hip.

The pain is reportedly wicked and intense. Should you want to go spend 20USD
or so at the Worm Bite Specialist, you can get a shot to alleviate the agony within 30 minutes or so. Should you want to go spend 20USD on a really good bottle of rum, you can fight it out for about four hours and the pain will disappear. Or if you're a bit masochistic, you can just suffer through it for the four hours or so.

As of this writing, neither The Dog nor I have had a direct encounter with these Fire Worms.


  1. Almost a Very good explanation
    But the pain does not stop there
    In the Girls goes to the ovaric and the girls feels like a very bad and hard pain, a lot more worse than a period pain.
    In the Boys the pain goes to the testicule to the side of the afected leg, and you can feel it like if somebody hits you very strong.
    Dr. Francisco Arguedas Pimentel
    Emergency Clinic
    Puerto Viejo, Limon, Costa Rica.
    Tel: 2750-0079

  2. I encountered just one last month near Playa Samara on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. The name fireworm is apropriate. I opted for the $20 of rum, 4 oxa forte (200 mg codeine,) and plenty of benadryl gel.

    One landed on my hand. I have arthritis quite bad in that hand. My hand started swelling and went numb, though the pain remained. This feeling traveled to my elbow but went no further. The combination of drugs above alleviated the pain eventually. The next day my hand was extremely weak, however, there was no pain, not even from arthritis. The hand remained pain free for about a week, before returning to its normal condition.

    Strange occurrence indeed! It would not stop me from being in Playa Samara again, however.


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