Oak processionary moth spraying starts in Kew Gardens

Parts of Kew Gardens will be closed today and tomorrow (May 10-11) as selective spraying begins on colonies of Oak Processionary Moth.

A Kew Gardens representative said:  "An area of the Gardens will be closed to staff and visitors on these two days whilst the selected trees are sprayed.

"In order to reduce the health and safety impact of the toxic hairs from the caterpillars on our staff and visitors it is important to apply a suitable pesticide to the caterpillar at the earliest stage possible in the life cycle, preferably before the 3rd larval instar (development stage) when the hairs become a problem.

"Since OPM first appeared in West London, Kew has been working closely with the Forestry Commission, West London local authorities and others as part of the Outbreak Management Team, as well as organisations in Europe who have been dealing with the pest for some years now, to manage any infestations and work towards eradicating the pest. It is important that we and all other local stakeholders work together to control and manage this exotic pest if we are to attempt to eradicate it from the UK."

In April this year, Oak Processionary Moth eggs hatched in Kew Gardens where they have been closely monitored.

According to the spokesperson, "several trees" are infected.


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