Click to Translate to English Click to Translate to French  Click to Translate to Spanish  Click to Translate to German  Click to Translate to Italian  Click to Translate to Japanese  Click to Translate to Chinese Simplified  Click to Translate to Korean  Click to Translate to Arabic  Click to Translate to Russian  Click to Translate to Portuguese


Forum Home Forum Home > International Forums > Select Your Country > Europe (UK)
  New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - London, UK:  Toxic Caterpillars Warning
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

Online Discussion: Tracking new emerging diseases and the next pandemic

London, UK: Toxic Caterpillars Warning

 Post Reply Post Reply
Author
Message
Technophobe View Drop Down
Senior Moderator
Senior Moderator
Avatar

Joined: January 16 2014
Location: Scotland
Status: Offline
Points: 51215
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: London, UK: Toxic Caterpillars Warning
    Posted: April 28 2018 at 6:32am

Health warnings after toxic caterpillar outbreak in London

  • 3 hours ago

An outbreak of toxic caterpillars that can cause asthma attacks, vomiting and skin rashes has descended on London, officials have warned.

Oak processionary moths (OPM), which are in their larval stage, have been spotted across the south-east of England and in the capital.

Hairs on the caterpillars can cause fevers and eye and throat irritations, the Forestry Commission said.

The organisation has issued a caution not to touch the species.

The biggest infestations of OPM were recorded in Greater London, stemming from Kingston upon Thames to Brent.

Some infestations were also spotted in Bracknell Forest, Slough and Guildford.

Image copyright Forestry Commission Image caption The red dots indicate where OPM nests were found in 2017/18

OPM caterpillars were spotted emerging from egg plaques in mid-April, and trees were later treated on 23 April, the Forestry Commission added.

"The treatment programme is expected to continue until late May or early June," a spokesman said.

"After that the caterpillars will be too large to be affected by our preferred treatment product."


Precautions to minimise health risks:

  • Do not touch or approach nests or caterpillars
  • Do not let children touch or approach nests or caterpillars
  • Do not let animals touch or approach nests or caterpillars; or try removing nests or caterpillars yourself

As a caterpillar, each OPM has about 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 OPM established itself in the west London area in 2006.

Key identifying features of OPM:

  • Move about in nose-to-tail processions
  • Often form arrow-headed processions, with one leader and subsequent rows containing several caterpillars abreast
  • Are most likely to be found in oak trees, and sometimes on the ground under oak trees
  • Are most likely to be seen in late spring and early summer
  • Have very long, white hairs which contrast markedly with other, shorter hairs
  • Do not live on fences, walls and similar structures, as some caterpillar species do

Related Internet links


Source, map and stock photos:   http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-43930702

Absence of proof is not proof of absence.
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down