June 19, 2024

Science: acorn moth: poisonous-haired moth

Sciences Oak procession moth: Poison-haired moth

Oak mites can be seen on the trunk of an oak tree. picture

© Friso Gentsch / dpa

The oak procession moth also appeared in Lower Saxony several years ago. Since the larvae can be dangerous to people, the authorities take swift action against the animals, especially in crowded areas – in various ways.

The oak moth is being fought again in Lower Saxony these days. Especially in cities, caterpillars with poisonous hairs and their nests are often quickly sucked from trees after detection. Such measures are currently underway in Nordhorn and Braunschweig, as announced by the two administrations. The L√ľneburg district is satisfied with the use of nematodes – small roundworms. They are applied to treetops and act specifically against animals.

Jens Michael Segers, president of the Road Construction and Maintenance Company, was quoted as saying in a statement to the district that the use proved itself last year. “We have been able to effectively control over 90 percent of the oak population with this natural remedy,” he said. Taking a look at the forests, the State Forester of Lower Saxony (NLF) also reported that the caterpillars spread further. It must be assumed that they occur latently in all forests with a large proportion of oak.

According to the state forest description, the oak moth is an inconspicuous nocturnal moth. Increasing global warming has favored regional spread, such that it has occurred en masse in some federal states in recent years. After hot summers and mild winters, an increasing prevalence has been observed in Lower Saxony since 2003, according to forestry experts.

The Ministry of Health of Lower Saxony on the Internet points out that butterflies are not only a forest pest, but also a health risk to the population; Difficulty breathing and eye irritation.

For the city of Braunschweig, the teams have been moving against caterpillars since the third week of May. “We’re assuming this will last for a few weeks,” said Dirk Klotz, the city’s horticultural technologist. According to him, the focus of the fight is clearly on the gardens.

In school areas, day care centers, and clinics, found caterpillar nests are removed within 24 hours if possible, in residential areas nests should be removed within 48 hours. When it’s really bushy, the hot foam method is also used in Braunschweig, said gardening technician Klotz. The heat renders the animals harmless.

Anyone who can no longer avoid contact, as recommended by the state health department, should immediately change their clothes and shower with hair wash. Things should be washed in plenty of water at 60 degrees to destroy the nettle poison of the hairs of the caterpillar. In severe cases, anaphylactic shock can develop, so sufferers are often advised to see a doctor.

In a recent statement about the oak moth, the City of Delmenhorst indicated that the owner of the property in question is responsible for the control of infested property. However, the corresponding measures should only be taken by specialized companies specializing in pest control with mechanical removal.

State forest information page