Current News - Oak Processionary Moth
WARNING: If you think you have identified Oak Preocessionary Moth (Thaumetopea Processionea) commonly known as OPM, firstly do not attempt to move or touch the caterpillars or nests. Move back from the host tree and ensure no one else (or pets) make contact with caterpillars, nests or tree. Secondly, report any sightings to the Forestry Commission using their 'Tree Alert' tool available from:
OPM - Is a defoliating pest of many species of oak, including Sessile, English and Turkey oaks *although not exclusive to oaks. OPM can cause irreparable damage to healthy tree function and leaves trees vulnerable to other stressors and in some cases lead to its death. Alongside this OPM caterpillars are a threat to people and animals, as the older caterpillars develop small hairs that contain a protein that cause irritation. If in contact with the hairs they can cause skin rashes, eye irritations, sore throats, breathing difficulties and in some cases allergic reactions (Forestry Commission, 2019). OPM should only be removed by a competent professional with experience of the pest, they must also be certified to access the host tree and able to safely remove and dispose of OPM. OPM is subject to a goverment-led programme of survey and control.
If you suspect you have OPM on your tree(s) Greenman Environmental Management (GMEM) have experience in OPM removal. We have robust protocols for its removal and disposal and have developed safe working methods for keeping our operatives, clients and the public safe during operations. GMEM is a member of the Arboricultural Association.
GMEM have undertaken the removal of OPM at various locations and pride ourselves on using one of the most effective and safe methods of removal (of nests, larvae and caterpillars), using an industrial HEPA filter vacuum and where applicable the use of (sealed) onsite incineration vessel used for disposal. All of our operatives use dedicated personal protection including powered full face (FFP3) respirators - suited to the physical demands of accessing the host tree and protection from hazardous materials. GMEM operatives are certified and trained to access the tree using GMEM 'Mobile Elevated Work Platforms' or if required, the use of aerial climbing techniques.
GMEM offer an efficient and professional solution to OPM infestations, we have extensive experience in the commercial and private sector providing specialist services to exceptional standards to a range of clients. Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you would like any further information about our OPM or our other bio-security services.
*Please note - We cannot eradicate OPM from your tree, however, we will always aim to remove as much of the caterpillars, larvae and nests that is practically possible.