Corby and Kettering Councils’ shared environmental service is warning against handling any Brown Tail Moth Caterpillars, whose hairs can break off as barbs, potentially causing skin irritation and breathing difficulties similar to hay fever symptoms.
Brown-tail moth caterpillars have been identified in hedges along Oldland Road, Butland Road and Applegarth Close, in Oakley Vale. They are easily identified, having a white line down each side and two very distinctive red dots on the back of the tail.
We advise the public to avoid handling them, as they can cause skin and eye irritation, especially in children.
We are working to manage this year’s influx of caterpillars in this location, and hope to have them treated by the end of May.
If you come into direct contact with the caterpillars, you may experience a rash together with irritation similar to a severe nettle rash. As hairs can become airborne, some people may experience symptoms affecting their eyes and breathing similar to hay fever symptoms.
Normally this will give a few hours of localised discomfort. Washing the affected area with water and the application of calamine lotion on the skin may ease the itching. The hairs may also worsen symptoms of asthma for some people.
You should seek medical advice from your pharmacist or GP if symptoms do not settle down within a few hours.