White, Furry and Poisonous: The Hickory Tussock Moth Caterpillar
This white and black furry caterpillar looks kinda cuddly, but it's not as friendly as it appears. Once rumored to be wildly and dangerously poisonous, these little guys made an appearance on Snopes that lessened their bad rep.
That said, they do excrete poison when handled, and the chemical they excrete can cause a poison ivy-like rash. If you've touched one by mistake, wash the area with soap and water, and apply ice and calamine lotion to ease the itch. Sometimes, though, their poison triggers a severe allergic reaction, so if you experience swelling and nausea after touching one, get some medical help ASAP.
This caterpillar is the larval form of the Hickory Tussock Moth (lophocampa caryae). They appear from June to September and enjoy chomping on nut-bearing trees. We want our city kids to be one with nature and get as close as possible with purple martins, toads, turtles, goats, and turkeys, but when it comes to any fuzzy caterpillar, our general rule is that U Can't Touch This.