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Oak processionary moth on private land


Detailed description

The oak processionary moth is an inconspicuous gray-brown moth with a wingspan of 25 to 30 mm. The butterfly species bears its name because of its peculiarity to move one behind the other or next to one another in search of food in the evening, like in a procession. They feed on the buds of the oak trees.
If a nest or caterpillars of the oak processionary moth are discovered on private property, the responsible district office must be informed.



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Please note

If a nest or caterpillars of the oak processionary moth are discovered on private property, the responsible district office must be informed, as an oak processional cadastre will be set up to record further developments.

Combating the oak processionary moth:

The landowner has to commission a specialist company for the removal at his own expense.
The fight against the oak processionary moth and its nests should be carried out by professionals wearing full protective clothing and breathing protection
Correct control is particularly important in places with a lot of public traffic, such as schools, kindergartens, swimming pools, leisure facilities, campsites and on the premises of hospitals and clinics. This is the only way to minimize the risk of contact.

The Plant Protection Office will advise you on this on Monday 12.30 p.m. to 3.30 p.m. and Friday 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on 428 41 5220

Health hazard from the oak processionary moth:

The problem is the short stinging hairs of the caterpillars (approx. 600,000 per caterpillar), which are formed from the third caterpillar stage. They contain the nettle poison Thaumetopoein.

Symptoms can be:
Itching, skin inflammation and hives as well as irritation of the eyes and the upper respiratory tract, which can manifest itself in asthma-like symptoms and shortness of breath.
General symptoms such as dizziness, fever or shock reactions are also possible.
Typical of the contact that has taken place is the itching that lasts for many days with small red swellings or wheals, which can occur primarily on uncovered areas of the body such as the face, neck and arms.
The symptoms can last anywhere from two days to two weeks.
Endangerment time:
The contact risk is greatest during the feeding time of the caterpillars - May to July. The poisonous hairs of the caterpillars can easily break off and be carried over 100m through the air. The poison in the stinging hair is effective for several years.

Who should be especially careful?
People who stay in the forest, residents of wooded areas with oaks. Workers from forest and landscape maintenance companies as well as road maintenance companies. People on leisure and green spaces (e.g. sports fields, campsites, outdoor swimming pools, children's playgrounds). Keepers of pets and farm animals (animals are also endangered).
How can you protect yourself?
Avoid infested areas and pay attention to cordoned off areas. In infested areas, cover all uncovered areas of the body (neck, neck, arms and legs, etc.). Do not touch the caterpillars, the web (net) and the undergrowth! Avoid contact! Do not sit in the grass or on the ground near infested trees.
Behavior after accidental contact:
Go home as soon as possible, take off your clothes and immediately shower your entire body to remove any stinging hairs. If you come into contact with your eyes, rinse them well with clean water. Wash all clothing at 60 degrees.

If you have severe symptoms, you should consult a doctor.


The report must be given immediately.



Legal basis

Law for the Protection of Public Safety and Order (SOG)

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Keywords: Caterpillar, oak processionary moth on private land

Last updated: 12.07.2024