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Last Updated: Monday, 30 July 2007, 12:46 GMT 13:46 UK
Jersey moth is harmful to humans
A tree-eating moth that has appeared in Jersey is harmful to humans, an insect expert has warned.

Scott Meadows, from the Environment Department, says the caterpillars of the oak processionary moth can cause an allergic skin reaction.

The species is a major defoliator of oak trees across Europe and the larvae has irritating toxic hairs.

Ten trees at Five Oaks are affected. Anyone who finds more has been asked to contact the Environment Department.

Scott Meadows said he was looking for signs of another tree pest the gypsy moth, when he came across the oak processionary moth.

He said: "The hairs of this caterpillar might look fluffy, but can leave you with itchy spots that harden into blisters."

He added he was itching for a fortnight after coming into contact with the white silky hairs.

Anyone who spots more nests, which can be the size of half a carrier bag, has been asked to call the Environment Department.




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