Oak processionary moth

The oak processionary moth is a pest that has been found in Surrey. It lives on oak trees and poses a risk to human and animal health.

Oak processionary moth

It is important not to come into contact with oak processionary moth caterpillars, hairs or nests as their tiny hairs can cause skin rashes and less frequently eye and throat irritations and breathing difficulties in people and animals. Pets must be kept away from the nests and caterpillars.

If you do come into contact with the larvae or caterpillars by accident, please follow the health advice about dealing with caterpillar hairs on the NHS website. If you have an itching skin rash and/or conjunctivitis or other symptoms, contact your GP, or call NHS Direct on 111.

May to July is the greatest risk period when the caterpillars are most numerous.

What to do if you see or touch them

If you think you saw any oak processionary moth nests or caterpillars, first make sure you have correctly identified the species. The Icon for pdf guide issued by the Forestry Commission [961.61KB] can help.

Report the sightings

If they are on privately owned land, report them to the Forestry Commission by telephone on 0300 067 442 or by email at opm@forestry.gsi.gov.uk

If they are on a Council-owned tree, report it to us on 01932 838383 or by email at OpenSpace@runnymede.gov.uk


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