Oak processionary moth contract win

Thursday 18th June

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We have recently been successful in winning the Oak Processionary Moth Treatment works for Guildford Borough Council. This will support our other contracts for Thames Water, Affinity Water, Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council, and many others.

What is OPM?

The oak processionary moth is a non-native species whose caterpillars feed on oak leaves and cause significant damage to the integrity of the tree. The species was accidentally introduced to the UK in 2005. Larvae follow each other nose to tail in a long processionary line between the nest and feeding areas which give them their name. The caterpillars have distinctive long white hairs emerging from reddish warts along their bodies, a single dark stripe down their backs and a whitish line along each side.

Allergic reactions to mature caterpillar hairs are frequent as they contain a harmful chemical causing rashes, conjunctivitis and respiratory problems. Health problems can even occur when there is no direct contact with the caterpillars as their hairs fall off very easily. Abandoned nests will contain lots of hairs and shed skins and should be treated with due care.

Please contact us if you have any sightings and use the Tree Alert online form. Alternatively, you can email opm@forestrycommission.gov.uk