Hickory tussock moth larvae and woolly worms are two common caterpillars found in the fall in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana.
Look but don’t touch these furry visitors.
Their fuzzy hairs to protect them from predators. People who handle these caterpillars could end up with skin irritation, dermatitis or a rash, especially those with known allergies to other insects
This fuzzy caterpillar could also cause dermatitis if it comes in contact with tender skin, but be amazed at the woolly worm’s ability to withstand bitter winter temperatures.
The hairs on the body of the larva can cause a rash if its body comes in contact with tender skin. Picking it up with your hand would be less aggravating than dropping it down your shirt, although neither is recommended. Since there are Internet sites that are calling the larvae toxic or poisonous, this is not what it seems. The only danger is skin irritation or a rash.