The Forestry Fee up to date operational zones and limits in a bid to handle the unfold of oak processionary moth (OPM) this month.

The OPM season begins in March when the caterpillars can begin to emerge. To coincide with this, the Forestry Fee has made adjustments to the three operational boundaries of the administration zones.

These administration zones are: Space designated free from the pest, Buffer Zone, and Established Space, and they are going to be applied to proceed to assist to limit the unfold of the pest, the fee mentioned.

The Forestry Fee warned that OPM caterpillars and their nests include hairs which might trigger itchy rashes, eye and throat irritations, and shouldn’t be touched underneath any circumstances.

OPM caterpillars feed on oak leaves and may enhance bushes’ vulnerability to assault by different pests and illnesses, making them much less capable of face up to adversarial climate circumstances – like drought and floods.

The fee warned that the best human and animal well being danger interval is from Could to July, as that is when the caterpillars emerge and feed earlier than pupating into grownup moths.

Commenting on the implementation of the up to date operational zones to handle the unfold of OPM, undertaking supervisor Andrew Hoppit mentioned: “Oak processionary moth larvae may cause important injury to oak bushes and pose a danger to human and animal well being.

“These new measures are designed to minimise the unfold and affect of the pest and defend our treasured oak bushes, as a part of our wider tree well being safety regime.”

Hoppit urged the general public to report any OPM sighting to the Forestry Fee by way of its TreeAlert portal.

Oak Processionary Moth

The OPM was first recognized in England in 2006 and is now current in London and surrounding counties.

OPM administration varies throughout England to replicate the identified distribution of the pest and to guard uninfected areas, the Forestry Fee mentioned.

A UK authorities programme to handle OPM has been in place since 2010 to manage its unfold and scale back pest prevalence, undertaken by the Forestry Fee.

Landowners, the general public and commerce are urged to stay vigilant for sightings of the pest.