·

Toxic caterpillars invasion in UK

toxic-caterpillars-invasion-in-uk

The Forestry Commission has issued a caution not to touch the caterpillars of the oak processionary moth. Residents in Pangbourne and parts of west London have been warned to steer clear of a toxic caterpillar. Their hairs contain a toxin that can cause itchy skin rashes as well as eye and throat irritations.

The Forestry Commission’s Stewart Snape said residents can report sightings but that the caterpillars should only be removed by pest control operators. Officials are now dealing with outbreaks of the moth in Pangbourne in West Berkshire and the London boroughs of Ealing, Brent, Hounslow, Richmond upon Thames and Hammersmith & Fulham.

Health Protection Agency director Dr Brian McCloskey said: “We strongly advise people not to touch or approach the caterpillars or their nests because of the health risks caused by the toxin-containing hairs. Pets can also be affected and should be kept away as well”.

Anyone who experiences an itchy skin rash or other allergic symptoms after being near oak trees in these areas should consult their GP.

As a caterpillar, each oak processionary moth has around 62,000 hairs, which they can eject. Hairs that fall to the ground can be active for up to five years. The moths only live for two to three days in July or August. It is thought that the moths were brought into the UK on trees imported from Europe for a landscape project.

A population of oak processionary moths then established itself in the west London area in 2006. The species was discovered in Pangbourne in 2010. (BBC)

Oak processionary moth – Thaumetopoea processionea

If you value what we do here, create your ad-free account and support our journalism.

Share:


Your support makes a difference

Dear valued reader,

We hope that our website has been a valuable resource for you.

The reality is that it takes a lot of time, effort, and resources to maintain and grow this website. We rely on the support of readers like you to keep providing high-quality content.

If you have found our website to be helpful, please consider making a contribution to help us continue to bring you the information you need. Your support means the world to us and helps us to keep doing what we love.

Support us by choosing your support level – Silver, Gold or Platinum. Other support options include Patreon pledges and sending us a one-off payment using PayPal.

Thank you for your consideration. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,
Teo Blašković

$5 /month

  • Ad-free account
  • Clean user interface and fast browsing
  • Direct communication with us via chat and email
  • Suggest new features, content and applications
  • Early access to new apps and features

$50 /year

$10 /month

  • Ad-free account
  • Clean user interface and fast browsing
  • Direct communication with us via chat and email
  • Suggest new features, content and applications
  • Early access to new apps and features

$100 /year

$25 /month

  • Ad-free account
  • Clean user interface and fast browsing
  • Direct communication with us via chat and email
  • Suggest new features, content and applications
  • Early access to new apps and features

$200 /year

You can also support us on Patreon

support us on patreon

or by sending us a one-off payment using PayPal:


Commenting rules and guidelines

We value the thoughts and opinions of our readers and welcome healthy discussions on our website. In order to maintain a respectful and positive community, we ask that all commenters follow these rules:

  • Treat others with kindness and respect.
  • Stay on topic and contribute to the conversation in a meaningful way.
  • Do not use abusive or hateful language.
  • Do not spam or promote unrelated products or services.
  • Do not post any personal information or content that is illegal, obscene, or otherwise inappropriate.

We reserve the right to remove any comments that violate these rules. By commenting on our website, you agree to abide by these guidelines. Thank you for helping to create a positive and welcoming environment for all.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *