Experts warning families to stay away from wild parsnip

DES MOINES, Iowa – Wildlife experts across the country are warning those who like to spend time outdoors of a pesky and poisonous plant.

Wild parsnip typically grows very tall and can be found in fields and ditches across North America.

However, experts say it can wreak havoc on your skin.

“It is nasty to get into,”  Black Hawk County Conservation Board Educator Katie Shelton told KWWL. “It’s the sap on the plant that actually causes the reaction on your skin. It causes Phytophotodermatitis, so that means once the sap comes into contact with your skin it reacts with the UV light from the sun. It causes blisters, and boils, and a lot of scarring.”

Experts say if you plan on being outdoors, you should learn what the plant looks like and avoid it.

If you come in contact with wild parsnip, wrap up the area of contact to avoid sunlight and wash  immediately with soap and water.