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These fuzzy caterpillars look adorable, but they’re dangerous, Michigan officials warn

This caterpillar can cause skin irritation, Michigan officials say.
This caterpillar can cause skin irritation, Michigan officials say. Screengrab from the Clare Area Chamber of Commerce Facbook page

If you see a fuzzy critter wiggling on the ground, you may want to think twice before picking it up.

That’s because the cute creature could deliver a stinging sensation, Michigan officials warned Monday in a Facebook post.

The notice came after an American dagger caterpillar was found on a trail at Mid Michigan College, according to the post from the Clare Area Chamber of Commerce.

The greenish-yellow critter is “poisonous,” and touching it can lead to itching and rashes, the chamber says.

The irritation comes from the caterpillars’ black bristles, which “break off and embed themselves into skin,” according to the Insect Identification website.

And the dangerous critters aren’t only found in Michigan.

The territory stretches across a large swath of the western United States and all areas east of the Mississippi, according to Insect Identification.

The caterpillars, which grow to about 2 inches, make cocoons and become American dagger moths in the springtime, KUSA reported.

Mid Michigan College is roughly 95 miles north of Lansing.

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