Posted on 19th June 2020 at 16:43
We have been removing Oak Processionary Moth nests for the past 3 years from Oak trees around Surrey.
Oak Processionary Moth or OPM for short are found on Oak trees and they feed on the leaves and unless kept under control can strip the tree of foliage. They caterpillar have tiny hairs which have a protein called Thaumetopoein, which is extremely irritating if you come into contact with them. The problem affects animals and people usually causing skin and eye irritation & breathing difficulties.
At this time of year, it’s the most effective time to remove the OPM, as the caterpillar have settled into their nests and are not likely to be out roaming in the foliage. This should eliminate the nest as long as all the caterpillar and pupae have been removed. In the mean time, we suggest the area is taped off and signs put up to make people aware to keep their distance. We can email a copy of our signage over to you to use.
We work towards the forestry commissions guidelines when removing nests and we do so by hand - very covered up hands!! We wear complete body protection, as it's very important to have every inch of skin covered to avoid coming into contact with the hairs. 👨🏽🚀👩🏽🚀 We do not use pesticides to avoid harming any other wildlife around. We will double bag the nest and tape them shut. These nests are considered hazarous waste so they will be disposed of in an incinerator.
If you think you’ve discovered OPM, stay clear of it and report it via the Forestry Commission website 🐛
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