Moths play an essential role in plant pollination and provide food for many species of resident and migrant birds. They make a major contribution to Jersey's rich biodiversity.
There may be as many as 50 species, ranging from earwigs to hawk moths, earning a living from a single oak tree, but it is the Jersey tiger which is one of Jersey’s specialities. This most attractive of the tiger moths lives mainly in the Channel Islands but can be found in parts of the south coast of the UK. It is a day moth and can normally be seen throughout July to September.
Oak Processionary Moth
Risk to human health
Oak Processionary Moth is a risk to human health as its caterpillars are covered in hairs that contain a toxin and can cause skin irritation and allergic reactions in anyone who inhales them or comes into contact with them.
Contact with the hairs of this caterpillar can cause intensely itchy or painful skin rashes, and even sore throats, eye problems and breathing difficulties. It’s not just touching the hairs that can cause problems. The wind can also blow the hairs into contact with people.
Anyone with a severe reaction or who is uncertain what has caused their rash should consult their GP.
If you think you may have found Oak Processionary caterpillars, or their nests, do not touch or try to deal with them. Instead, report any sightings, with as much detail as possible on their precise location, email the Environment Department.