Visitors to Pagham Harbour have been warned to avoid making contact with caterpillars after an outbreak of the creatures that can cause irritation to skin.
Dog-walkers, nature-lovers and families are heading to the harbour in increasing number at this time of the year thanks to the warmer weather.
But it also means brown-tailed moth caterpillars are prevalent and people have been urged to avoid contact with them by the Royal Society for Protection to Birds.
A note pinned to a post at the harbour reads: “Currently there is an outbreak of brown-tailed moth caterpillars across the peninsular. They are covered with thousands of barbed hairs which, if attached, can cause skin irritation, rash and severe itching.
“If you come across them, please do not touch them or all their silk ‘nests’ in the vegetation which also contain hairs. If you do get a rash it is advisable to watch the area well with soap and water, then apply calamine lotion. The rash should disappear completely within a day or two. If it is more serious seek advice.”