If you come across this cute little fuzzy caterpillar, don't touch it, as it is extremely toxic.

When you think of caterpillars, you often think they are cute little fuzzy creatures and often think they are safe. This one is not, and should be avoided at all costs.

It's venomous caterpillar from Canada and this weekend, it was been spotted here in the Rockford area. It's called a white hickory tussock moth caterpillar. If you spot one, don't touch it.

What makes it so dangerous?  The caterpillar's fuzzy black spines contains venom which the insect uses to keep predators away. The problem is, if this venom makes contact with human skin, it can cause a severe irritation. The small hairs on this insect become embedded in your skin. Can you say itch?

Here is a set of photos of the critter found in Rockford this past weekend.

The white hickory tussock moth caterpillar found in Rockford over the weekend, was found under a tree bearing acorns. These caterpillars can be found munching on nut trees. You'll also notice them on elm, ash, aspen, willow, and oak trees.

According to snopes.com, The caterpillar won't kill you, as it is is not poisonous, and but will cause an allergic reaction. If you do come in contact with this critter, according to CBS News, the nasty rash the insect leaves behind can be treated with lotion and ice.


If you spot one of these, snap a photo and share it with us.

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