Things You'll Need
Protective gloves and clothing
Cooking pot and stove or microwave oven
Spanish moss hangs from tree limbs and thrives in the Southeastern United States. The plant is actually not a moss, but a bromeliad, which makes Spanish moss a distant relative of the pineapple. The beautiful moss can be used for decoration, arts and crafts or even flower arrangements. When working with fresh Spanish moss, you must take precautions because it can harbor red bugs. Red bug bites can cause severe itching and swelling. Luckily, you can easily treat Spanish moss to get rid of these unwanted pests.
Wear protective gloves and long sleeves to prevent bugs from getting onto your skin.
Inspect the moss in an open area for larger creatures that may reside in it, such as snakes and frogs.
Cut the Spanish moss into small sections to be either boiled or microwaved.
Place Spanish moss in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and boil for a few seconds, then empty contents into a colander. Spread the moss out evenly on newspaper to dry. Or you can microwave the moss for about 15 to 20 seconds, but watch carefully because it could ignite.
Remove protective wear and thoroughly scrub hands and arms with warm soapy water to ensure the removal of any bugs.
Based in Statesboro, Ga., Emily Jones has been writing professionally since 2009. Her articles appear on various websites, specializing in the diverse topics of cleaning and insects. Jones is a graduate student studying education at Georgia Southern University.