The Health Protection Agency has published public health information on the dangers from caterpillars of the Oak processionary moth.
The moth, a native of continental Europe, was first found breeding in the UK in west London during 2006. The HPA said tiny hairs from the caterpillar can lead to itching skin lesions and, less commonly, sore throats or eye problems.
This may happen if people touch the caterpillars or nests, or if the tiny hairs are blown by the wind into contact with people.
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