Just when you thought going outdoors couldn't get any more stressful with EEE and all, we have to remind you about another critter that is crawling about. 

The American Dagger moth is seen throughout the SouthCoast area, and generally, it doesn't really bother anyone. But before it becomes a moth, it starts out life as a creature that can be a real pain.

It may seem harmless, but the furry and colorful caterpillar is not something you want to pick up. Its yellow bristles may appear to be fuzzy and soft, but they are actually toxic and could be harmful towards your child. They are not deadly, but touching these bristles can give you a bad rash and can cause irritation and discomfort.

Strange enough, the thing that attracts people to touch the caterpillar is the same thing that will cause someone to get a rash. Isn't nature funny?

The moths and caterpillars are often found in neighborhoods that are populated with oak, ash, elm, alder, willow, and maple trees. Again, it's not something to overly be worried about, but you should still watch out for young children playing in the yard that may want to pet these harmless-looking insects.

It is easy to think that because you are in your own home or yard that you are safe, but it is not always the case. The American Dagger caterpillar is very cute, but you and your children should always refrain from touching it when seeing it outdoors or in the wilderness.

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