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Council issues warning over Oak Processionary Moth

23 June 2021

Residents out and about enjoying borough parks and open spaces this summer are reminded to keep on the lookout for the Oak Processionary Moth (OPM) – a pest that can pose serious health risks for those who come in 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 OPM. However, due to periods of cold and wet 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 leave it to the Council’s specialist contractors who are already on the on the case. For anyone who spots the pest it is important to stay away, sightings on council trees should be reported and personnel will be deployed to remove the caterpillars and their nests.

OPM on council trees can be reported by calling 020 8891 1411 or by email to trees&parks@richmond.gov.uk.

View further information on OPM.

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Up to: June 2021

Updated: 23 June 2021