One of our readers asked us if we knew if woolly worms were poisonous. Woolly worms are also known as woolly bear caterpillars. They are very fuzzy creatures and have what look to be very prickly hairs all over their bodies. Many people have asked is they are safe to pick up and if they are dangerous to humans. All of the research that has been done states that these caterpillars are not poisonous to humans.
A couple of days ago a reader asked us one simple question: “Are wooly worms ok to hold?” “Wooly worms” is one of the names of wooly bear caterpillars, and in fact basically any worm or caterpillar that has “wooly” in their name is generally a wooly bear caterpillar. The reader’s question is slightly ambiguous because it isn’t clear from what perspective (the human’s or the caterpillar’s) the question is being asked, but we are assuming that the reader is curious if it safe to hold wooly bear caterpillars, which is of course related to whether wooly bear caterpillars are harmful or dangerous in anyway. So, we will address all of these questions as we proceed.
Prior to settling in for the winter, the wooly worm will survive by eating a variety of plants such as cabbage, spinach, grass, and clover. And to protect itself from predators, the wooly worm will curl up into a ball, exposing only its bristles, which can be quite irritating to the skin.