Health warning as Corby Council works to manage caterpillar outbreak in town

Brown Tail moth caterpillars, which can cause breathing difficulties and nasty rashes have been spotted across Corby.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 2nd May 2019, 1:57 pm
Updated Thursday, 2nd May 2019, 2:43 pm
Caterpillars of the brown tail moth in hedgerows across Corby
Caterpillars of the brown tail moth in hedgerows across Corby

Several people living in the town have broken out in a rash that can be caused after the caterpillar’s hairs break off as barbs.

Corby and Kettering Councils’ shared environmental service is warning against handling any Brown Tail Moth Caterpillars as they can cause causing skin irritation and breathing difficulties similar to hay fever symptoms.

The distinctive caterpillars have been identified in hedges along Oldland Road, Butland Road and Applegarth Close, in Oakley Vale. They are easily identified, having a white line down each side and two very distinctive red dots on the back of the tail.

Yvonne Porter's son, from Corby, has come out in the strange rash after coming into contact with the caterpillar barbs

Other people have said online that they have spotted them on the Beanfield Estate.

A Corby Council spokesman said: “We advise the public to avoid handling them, as they can cause skin and eye irritation, especially in children.

“We are working to manage this year’s influx of caterpillars in this location, and hope to have them treated by the end of May.

“If you come into direct contact with the caterpillars, you may experience a rash together with irritation similar to a severe nettle rash. As hairs can become airborne, some people may experience symptoms affecting their eyes and breathing similar to hay fever symptoms.

Caterpillars are causing skin irritation in Corby

“Normally this will give a few hours of localised discomfort. Washing the affected area with water and the application of calamine lotion on the skin may ease the itching. The hairs may also worsen symptoms of asthma for some people.

“You should seek medical advice from your pharmacist or GP if symptoms do not settle down within a few hours.”