Black fuzzy caterpillars are typically not toxic. However, one of the most lethal caterpillars in Brazil and Venezuela is the bag shelter caterpillar, which has a black and iridescent-blue fuzz. Additionally, the fuzzy black-and-white caterpillar known as the White Hickory Tussock Moth Caterpillar in the United States and Canada releases poison when it is handled.
There are substantial populations of the White Hickory Tussock Caterpillar in both Canada and the United States. It only emerges between June and September most years. Internet allegations about these caterpillars being dangerous first surfaced in 2011. It’s true that these caterpillars secrete venom, despite the alarmist rumours to the contrary. Many people develop rashes after handling them, and some people experience severe symptoms like nausea and edoema.
The majority of poisonous caterpillars are stinging ones with hollow hairs connecting to poison sacs under their skin. These hairs penetrate the skin of a person who touches them, allowing the poison to enter. There are a number of stinging caterpillar species that can be found in the US, but none of them are black and fluffy. These include buck moth caterpillars, lo moth caterpillars, puss caterpillars, and several more species.
If someone gets stung, they should wash the area with soap and water to prevent infection and apply specific tape to remove any remaining caterpillar hairs.