The government has announced via its website that “any sightings should be reported to the Forestry Commission via its Tree Alert online form” or that “people can email email@example.com or call 0300 067 4442.”
The creepy crawlies have blackheads, and bodies covered in long white hairs. According to official guidance, the latter “contain proteins which can cause itchy rashes, eye, and throat irritations. They can also occasionally cause breathing difficulties in people and pets, so should not be touched under any circumstances.”
Craig Harrison, the Forestry Commission’s South-East England Director, said:
“The public and those working in green spaces such as tree surgeons and gardeners can help by reporting any suspected OPM sightings. However, they should not touch the caterpillars or nests themselves; removal is most safely done by specially trained and equipped pest control experts.”
Learn more about the effect on pets on our pet first aid course or call us on 01206 805359.