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16/10/06
"Killer Moths" Found at Kew
- Staff torch deadly invaders' nests at Botanical Gardens

"Killer Moths" Found at KewSTAFF at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew have discovered nests belonging to a potentially deadly southern European moth.

The Oak Processionary Moth develops from a caterpillar whose hairs can trigger severe allergic reaction in some humans. Symptoms include irritation to the skin, lungs and eyes and in very rare cases, death.

However, Kew's head of horticulture, Nigel Taylor, insists there is "absolutely no danger" to the public now that his staff have torched the insect's nests.

The Oak Processionary's UK invasion is hot on the heels of another recent moth scare by the aptly named Leaf Miner. It has been chewing its way through south east England's horse chestnuts. Trees attacked by the Leaf Miner suffer browning and shrivelling of the leaves, fooling many to assume that Autumn has come early this year.



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