Irritant caterpillar infestation in Peterborough underpass

Staff spraying insecticide to get rid of the caterpillars
Staff spraying insecticide to get rid of the caterpillars
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Peterborough residents are being warned about an infestation of caterpillars which cause rashes and skin irritation in a city underpass.

The infestation of brown tail moth caterpillars was discovered in the underpass underneath the Queensgate roundabout leading from Cowgate to the train station this week.

Peterborough City Council teams have been spraying the area with insecticide to get rid of the animals, but residents are urged not to touch insects or bits of plants until the infestation has been dealt with.

A council spokesman said: “We discovered a brown tail moth caterpillar infestation during a routine inspection of shrubs and trees along the underpass on the Queensgate roundabout. This area has been cordoned off and the infestation is being treated with insecticide.

“Direct contact with the caterpillar can cause mild irritation. If you are affected, the rash will be similar to severe nettle rash. The discomfort should pass after a few hours. Anyone who does get caterpillar hairs on their skin should wash with warm soapy water. If symptoms or irritation persists seek medical advice.

“The caterpillars feed off buds and leaves of trees and shrubs, in severe cases causing total defoliation.

“We have not had any other reports of the caterpillars elsewhere in the city but residents should call 01733 747474 if they notice infestations on public land. If residents have any concerns about these caterpillars in their own gardens they should contact a registered pest control company.”