Plague of toxic caterpillars hits the UK

  • A plague of oak processionary moths was spotted in the south-east of England
  • Hairs on the caterpillars can cause fevers and eye and throat irritations

An outbreak of toxic caterpillars that cause life-threatening asthma attacks, vomiting and skin rashes has descended on the UK, officials have warned.

According to a report by BBC, Oak processionary moths (OPM), which are in their larval stage, have been spotted across the south-east of England and in the capital.

Hairs on these caterpillars can cause severe fevers, as well as eye and throat irritations, Forestry Commission said.

They have over 60,000 of the hairs and they are able to eject them and they can remain hazardous for up to five years.

The Forestry Commission have warned people living in or visiting the capital – or any of the other affected areas – to avoid contact with the species due to the hostile side-effects caused by direct contact.