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It's not a woolly bear. It'sIt's not a woolly bear. It's a hickory tussock moth caterpillar. The two long, sharp, black pencil-like hairs protrude near the front and rear of it are connected to poison glands, which excrete venom on contact. Contact with the venom does not generally cause too much of a problem. A nettle or poison ivy-type rash often occurs, which can range from mild with slight reddening of the skin, to burning, swelling and pain. It's best to avoid them!

2015 Special Edition Garden GuideCooking Fresh with The Old Farmer's AlmanacThe Almanac Monthly Digital MagazineWhat the heck is a Garden Hod?