(970 WFLA) - The puss caterpillar may look soft and furry, but it packs quite a sting. That's because the fur is covered in venom.  

The caterpillar is common in Florida and can be found in many trees. Hillsborough County Extension agent Nicole Pinson says you shouldn't handle any type of animal or insect if you aren't sure what it is.  

The sting from a pus caterpillar can cause skin reactions with mild to severe pain.  

And if you have curious kids, you might want to let them know not to touch this caterpillar if they come across one.  For more information click HERE.

The first step in pest control is to properly identify the pest. Hillsborough County residents can contact the extension office for information and identification. They can bring in a sample or e-mail a photo to hillsmg@ad.ufl.edu. Residents outside Hillsborough County can contact their local county Extension office: http://solutionsforyourlife.ufl.edu/map/ 


 Photo Credit UF/Donald W. Hall