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Brown tailed moth caterpillars make family’s life ‘miserable’ (From News Shopper)

1305775385 87 Brown tailed moth caterpillars make familys life miserable (From News Shopper)Brown tailed moth caterpillars make family’s life ‘miserable’

12:41pm Monday 16th May 2011

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A FAMILY say their lives have been blighted by an innocent-looking pest: brown tail moth caterpillars.

The Layfield family, of Archer way, Swanley have been fighting the creepy crawlies for more than a month, after the warm weather brought them into their back garden.

But parents-of-three Julia 41, and Neil 42, say the caterpillars bring the family out in itchy rashes and stop them from using their garden.

mrs Layfield said: “I sound like a bit of a lunatic until you hear about what a pest they are.

“You’ve only got to sit in a deck chair and when you get in you’re covered in a nasty rash. It’s a health problem – my husband went out trying to cut their nests down and he looks as though he’s been rolling around in nettles. It’s not pleasant.”

mrs Layfield says her sons, 10-year-old Jordan, 14-year-old Nicholas and Daniel, 17 have also been affected.

she added: “My youngest son wants to go out and play on the trampoline but the caterpillars are getting in there and then he gets a rash.

“It’s a problem that needs to be addressed because they’ll go to other houses and it’s not fair. it makes you miserable.

“I’m a little bit at the end of my tether because they keep coming into our garden.

“I phoned the council but they haven’t sent anybody. I don’t know where else to turn to.”

Council advice

Brown tail moth caterpillars are becoming more common in Kent, and are listed as a pest on the Sevenoaks District Council website.

The creatures are a blackish-grey colour with small ginger hairs all along their bodies – which can cause rashes when in contact with human skin. Large adult larvae can have up to two million hairs.

The caterpillars grow in trees and hedgerows, feeding on leaves and shrubs.

The district council’s advice states that the caterpillars’ nests, known as tents, should be cut down and burned while wearing protective clothing.

If these measures do not fix the problem, residents are advised to contact pest control.

<a href="http://www.newsshopper.co.uk/news/9029556.Caterpillar_pest_hits_Swanley/tag:news.google.com,2005:cluster=http://www.newsshopper.co.uk/news/9029556.Caterpillar_pest_hits_Swanley/Mon, 16 May 2011 11:48:50 GMT 00:00″>Brown tailed moth caterpillars make family’s life ‘miserable’ (From News Shopper)

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