Beware of the hairy caterpillar

Having returned from Spain, I feel a sore throat, breathing problems and find it hard to sprint. What a spot of bother, for this to happen just prior to Regionals. Perhaps it is the fault of the hairy caterpillar the “Oak Processonary Moth” can cause breathing difficulty, asthma attack, vomiting, skin rashes, dizziness, eye problems. The hairs can also attach to pets, which then transmit them onto humans.

thaumetopoea_processionea_closeup
Oak processonary moth

Oak processonary moths, in their larval stage now, have been spotted in areas that include Croydon, Twickenham, Epping Forest, Watford, Ealing and several London suburbs. Other infestations have been reported in Bracknell Forest, Slough and Guildford.

They have long hairs, which can blow around in the wind and when you come into contact with them, it can cause severe problems.

If you see any in your area please report it to the Forestry Commission. Infected areas get sprayed.

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