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Warning After Toxic Caterpillars Found In Jersey

Islanders are being urged to take care after a dangerous species of caterpillar has been found in Jersey.

The Oak Processionary Moth can cause rashes, breathing difficulties and allergic reactions while it's a caterpillar.

The species - which has a grey body and a dark head - has been spotted at St Andrew's Park, in gardens, and in a number of other locations around the island.

They have toxic hair which can become embedded into oak trees, or blown in the wind.

Caroline Maffia from Environmental Protection is warning is to avoid touching them or standing downwind of them, and to report any sightings to the government:

"You can spot them in oak trees, where they are often clustered together. They have a grey body and dark head, and the older caterpillars have a central dark stripe with paler lines down each side. The nests look like cream, brown or black fibrous webbing on the trunks, branches and forks of branches.

Islanders should avoid handling them, standing downwind of them, or too close to infested trees. The hairs can cause a number of health concerns, and if you’re worried about a rash or other reaction then please contact your GP. Pets may also be affected, so please keep dogs away."

Anyone who spots one of the caterpillars can email the date, time and location to environmentenquiries@gov.je.

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