A Plague Of Toxic Caterpillars Are Causing Rashes And Breathing Difficulties In The UK

Oak Processionary Caterpillars


When you think of animals that could make you sick and mess up your life, I find it highly doubtful that many of you include the little caterpillar amongst them.

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For one thing, I don’t think I’ve even seen a caterpillar in a very long time, but on the other hand they’re kinda cute and small and just not really threatening at all really. Be warned though, thousands of Oak Processionary caterpillars have popped up in Buckinghamshire over the past week and locals are complaining that they’re suffering adverse reactions after touching them. Not really sure why people would be going around picking up caterpillars and playing with them, but maybe that’s a thing around there.

Anyway, just so that you don’t meet the same fate as these guys, make sure if you see any dark colour caterpillars with white spikes that are about 25 mm in length that you don’t end up prodding or poking them with your fingers. If you do, then you might end up with a bunch of itchy and painful rashes, eye problems, sore throats or even breathing difficulties, particularly for this with breathing difficulties.


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The symptoms of the caterpillar rash were explained by 22 year old Britney Comayas, who was visiting her parents in Milton Keynes:

I reckon my rashes are from that [the caterpillar] because as soon as I arrived in Milton Keynes last week I started getting a rash and it spread everywhere.

It started with two red spots on my arm but by the next morning my spots were spreading and it looked like chicken pox.

No doctors know what it is, I’ve taken fexofenadine and acicclovir[antihistamines] and put calamine lotion but I still have the rash, and it’s very itchy.

Sounds grim. What is an even bigger mystery though is how these caterpillars even came to take up existence in this country, as they’re not native over here and only started appearing around London in 2015. The Forestry Commission has been investigating, but haven’t really come up with any answers yet. Mysterious.

For more caterpillars, check out this guy finding a live caterpillar in his burger after taking one bite. Yuck.


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