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Quick Facts about the Oak Processionary Moth

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

There are far too many species of moths and flies in the UK for us to profile each one. That said, the oak processionary moth could pose a significant problem in the springtime -due not to adult moths but to larvae. Late April through until the end of May is the most risky time in this part of England.

If you find oak processionary moth nests on your property, it is advisable you do not attempt to remove them yourself. Call Pest Control Services (01635 250 852) to handle it for you. We serve all of Berkshire as well as limited portions of surrounding counties. Our service area extends 25 miles from our Newbury base.

Here are some quick facts about the oak processionary moth that may well be of interest:

  • Emergence - oak processionary moth caterpillars begin to emerge in early to mid-April. They will be seen on or near oak trees in both urban and suburban environments. By May, the caterpillars will be large enough to be seen with the naked eye; they will have also developed the irritating barbs for which they are known.
  • Health Risks - The barbs, or hairs, of the oak processionary moth caterpillars contain an irritating substance that can cause substantial skin rashes, sore throats and, in some cases, breathing difficulty and problems with the eyes. People should never, under any circumstances, try to pick up or otherwise handle the caterpillars.
  • Weather Conditions - oak processionary moth caterpillars may shed some of their hairs to fend off attacks by predators. Those hairs can be carried through the air by the wind, landing on people and causing skin rashes. This is why it is important to have a nest removed from your property immediately.
  • Tree Damage - oak processionary moth caterpillars can damage oak trees by feeding extensively on the leaves. Again, discovering a nest on your property is cause to contact Pest Control Services.

Oak processionary moth caterpillars have only been present in the UK since 2005. They have been found in western Berkshire, particularly during an outbreak that occurred in 2010. We advise our customers in the countryside to keep an eye out for oak processionary moth caterpillars, and if they identify them in number (or nests), they may wish to call us for assistance.

[Extract from article published in The Guardian in 2013]

Pest Control Services is standing by to assist with any moth or fly problems you might experience in the coming months. We will respond as quickly as we can to your call.

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