Be aware of Toxic Moths

OPM 200610

Residents out and about enjoying borough parks and open spaces this summer are reminded to be on the lookout for the Oak Processionary Moth – a pest that can pose serious health risks for those who come into contact.

Earlier this year, the Council commissioned specialist tree contractors to treat oak trees in the borough which are being affected by the hatching of the Oak Processionary Moth. However, due to the unprecedented warmer weather, conditions have been ideal to encourage the growth of local populations.

The moth may affect the health of oak trees but also poses a serious risk to people and animals. It feeds on the leaves of oak trees and creates nests in branches and tree trunks. The tiny hairs from the pests can cause nasty rashes, conjunctivitis-type symptoms and breathing difficulties for anyone who comes into contact.

Residents are being warned not to handle the creatures or remove or disturb the nests but to leave it to the Council’s specialist contractors who are already on the case. Adopting a risk-based approach, the contractors will be examining and spraying oak trees across Richmond in an effort to destroy the moths’ larvae.

More details can be found here.