Feeds

Toxic caterpillars invade London

Oaks attacked by wannabe procession moths

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Caterpillars of the oak procession moth are attempting to gain a foothold in London, the Telegraph reports.

As we recently reported, the Belgian army is battling a horde of the Thaumetopoea processionea caterpillars in the country's eastern province of Limburg.

The species has spread in recent years from its origins in central and southern Europe due to climate change, and last year appeared on several oak trees in West London, including in Kew's Royal Botanic Gardens. It's suspected they entered the country on imported trees.

The procession moth caterpillar, so called for its habit of advancing in column, deploys toxic hairs which can cause "severe skin irritation, breathing difficulties, and even anaphylactic shock". It can also completely defoliate trees, so Kew has moved quickly to contain the threat.

A spokesman explained: "About 30-35 oak trees had been affected and we have been exterminating the caterpillars as fast as they emerge but I am afraid this is not a problem that is going to disappear quickly. Our oaks have resisted many other diseases and we hope they are strong enough to resist this."

In Belgium, the army is tackling the irritating insects by burning the little blighters with "super-size blowtorches". UK operatives' method on dispatching them to the hereafter is not noted, but they have wisely donned protective clothing for their caterpillar-busting work.

The oak procession moth is, once established, extremely difficult to eradicate. Christine Tilbury, of the Forestry Commission's agency, Forest Research, admitted: "We are obviously concerned about it. The caterpillars stimulate a severe allergenic reaction in susceptible people. Where it has occurred on the Continent it has caused a severe skin rash and respiratory tract irritation. We would advise anyone in contact with it to get immediate medical advice."

Tilbury concluded by conceding that measures to contain or eliminate the oak procession moth might prove fruitless. She offered: "It could fly in or come in as eggs on plants. I do not know how you keep it out." ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
Cutting cancer rates: Data, models and a happy ending?
How surgery might be making cancer prognoses worse
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Brit balloon bod Bodnar overflies North Pole
B-64 amateur ultralight payload approaching second circumnavigation
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?