Itchy skin, difficulty breathing, and skin irritation are all possible reactions to the oak processionary moth caterpillar. In this article, we’ll discuss how to avoid it.
Oak processionary moth (Thaumetopoea processionea) is a harmful pest, which has also been linked to health concerns. The hairs on the caterpillar’s body can trigger extremely severe allergic reactions in Humans. Dogs, cats, and other household pets, as well as wild animals, are all affected by this.
It is advisable to stay away from the oak processionary moth larvae as they can inflict serious rashes. You can refer to this post for more information on getting rid of oak processionary moths.
The symptoms of exposure to the processionary moth are detailed here, along with advice on how to avoid them. Our next topic will be the danger to our four-legged friends. Oak processionary moth control information can be found here if you’re interested.
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Rashes and other Symptoms Caused by Oak Processionary Moths Larvae
The stinging toxin thaumetopoein is present in the caterpillars’ stinging hairs, and if it gets onto exposed skin, it can provoke an immune system hypersensitivity reaction. Caterpillar dermatitis or Erucism are medical terms for this condition.
Skin irritation symptoms such as rashes, blisters, patches, or hives are also possible. Untreated skin responses can continue for up to two weeks, so get them taken care of as soon as possible. The respiratory system becomes irritated if stinging hairs enter it. If its hair enters your breathing tract, then you may even suffer from respiratory distress.
They can also make your eyes red, itchy, and swollen. Other symptoms such as dizziness, fever, and exhaustion can occur in addition to these specific ones. A rare yet serious side effect of allergy medicine is an allergic shock.
How to Avoid Skin Irritations and Respiratory Problems Caused By Processionary Moths
The oak processionary moth caterpillars are a health and hygiene risk not just during the third larval stage, but also until they pupate. Stinging hairs with barbs on their bodies and in their nests can cause severe skin and respiratory system irritation. This look can be caused by webs that are several years old.
Furthermore, because the hairs are very light and move around with the wind, they amass in adjacent vegetation, where people and pets can come into contact with them. To avoid allergic reactions caused by the oak processionary moth, take the following precautions.
Avoid Allergic Reactions caused by Oak Processionary Moth in Humans
To learn more about the incidence and growth of the oak processionary moth, read this article on controlling as well as eliminating it. Forestry workers, road builders and arborists, landscape maintenance businesses, and pest control agencies are among those that may come into touch with the stinging hairs. They should keep their eyes open and stay attentive, especially when near oak trees.
- Infestations can also develop on individual trees in public areas such as parks, sports fields, and playgrounds, hiking paths, and schoolyards, putting many people at risk.
- If you find a nest, notify the responsible public order or green space agency so that your neighbors can be alerted and control measures can be implemented.
- If the nest is on your property, you should stay away from it or engage a pest treatment business to control this pest.
- If at all possible, avoid inhabited oak processionary moth nests and do not try to remove caterpillars or webs yourself.
- Cutting or burning diseased plants allows stinging hairs to be dispersed by the wind, which should be avoided.
- If you must be around OPM populated nests, dress in long clothing and gloves to cover as much skin as possible.
- Do not come into contact with the caterpillars or webs.
- If you have been in close proximity of a nest, wash your clothes at 60°C and take a hot shower.
Is Oak Processionary Moth Dangerous to Dogs and other Pets?
Now is the time for all pet owners to pay attention! The oak processionary moth’s stinging hairs are also harmful to dogs and other pets. Although the fur protects the animals’ skin, the caterpillars of the oak processionary moth are sniffed or even eaten out of curiosity, or the animals go for treks through infected undergrowth.
This can cause significant inflammation in the four-legged pals’ noses and mouths. If your pet exhibits the relevant symptoms and has been in the vicinity of oak trees, you can raise your concerns with the veterinarian to encourage prompt treatment.
You should also look attentively to see whether there is a live nest near where your four-legged companion was injured. If feasible, report this to the authorities in order to prevent further harm to other people, dogs, free-roaming cats, and wildlife.