Outdoor recess was cancelled for several towns across western Mass. on Friday after hundreds of students came back with complaints of a rash and itchiness.
Hundreds of Brimfield students and residents are complaining of irritation due to gypsy moth caterpillars.
"In a playground setting the kids will see them and think they're fun to play with and they'll pick up the caterpillars and the hairs on them will get lodged into your skin and cause an irritation," said Entomologist, Bob Russell.
The rash and itchiness isn't the only thing that's bothersome for students, it's also distracting in the classroom.
"They're crawling everywhere. They just roam about looking for a tree to feed on so they'll get into playgrounds and other areas," Russell continued.
The playground isn't the only area to worry about.
Brimfield resident Amy Ruest told Western Mass News she sees them far too often.
"[I see them] all over my house, car, a gazebo out back. I can't walk outside without getting them on top of me," said Ruest.
The rash is treated with over-the-counter topicals but check with your healthcare provider first for the best way to treat the rash.
Copyright 2017 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.