Danger! Danger!

By london_alice Last edited 139 months ago
Danger! Danger!

Just in time for a bit of warm, summery weather, there's something new to be afraid of in the great outdoors! Aren't we lucky?

Toxic moths were discovered last year in Park Royal, but scientists figured the moths wouldn't survive the winter, and so wouldn't be a worry this year. Those scientists? Yeah, they were wrong.

The Oak Processionary Moths have been spotted in Park Royal again this year, still in caterpillar form. It's when they're at this stage that they're a danger to the public, as they're covered in thousands of bristles that contain a toxin. Any contact with the bristles, direct or indirect, can cause rashes, eye infections or even difficulty breating.

Earlier this year, the Belgian province of Limburg deployed the army to take care of their infestation by burning the moths. Members of the Forestry Commission, Health Protection Agency and local authorities are meeting today to decide what kind of action is necessary in London.

If you think you're suffering from symptoms, the authorities are recommending that you contact your GP or call the NHS Direct help line.

Image taken from eek the cat's Flickr photo stream

Last Updated 13 June 2007