Physical appearance is the first thing we notice but that is not always the right way to look at things. Great example that looks are deceiving are the caterpillars and people are slowly becoming aware of them.
When noticing a caterpillar the thing what comes to our minds is to pick it up and play a bit because we all know that they are harmless. Well this is not quite true. The White Hickory Tussock Moth Caterpillar is new to states like Pennsylvania and Ohio and many people are not aware that is can do more harm than benefit. A recent report on the WJAC News tells the case of a little boy who was attracted by the nice color of the caterpillar and let it crawl on this hand. Later, the boy was hospitalized due to severe rash all over his face and neck.
Therefore, don’t let be deceived by the nice fuzz over the body of the caterpillar because in fact the fuzz is connected with poison glands that emit poison when they feel that they are in danger. When you play with them, they don’t know if you are going to hurt them or not so they emit the poison which later causes rush. Fortunately, the rash can be treated with lotion and ice and it will be gone in several days. The good thing is that these caterpillars can’t kill you or cause some disease and they hibernate during the winter.
A 5-year-old boy from State College, PA picked one up and let it crawl all over his hand. Within minutes, he broke out in a red itchy rash.
A 2-year-old girl from Portsmouth, VA plucked up one of these “cuddly” caterpillars and immediately began screaming bloody murder. The next day, she still had puffy red marks on her hand from where she was stung.
When provoked, the caterpillar excretes venom from its prickly hair that can cause a poison ivy-like breakout. Some people may experience an allergic reaction.