A rash from above: Europe’s plague of oak processionary moth in trees

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You take a few steps towards an oak tree to look at a strange bunch of caterpillars. The next morning you wake up looking like you were hit by a plague of mosquitoes. The caterpillars of oak processionary moths can cover whole patches of tree trunks up to several metres long and cause serious rashes in anyone who comes close. Forestry officials in parts of Europe, where these furry caterpillars have become an everyday occurrence in spring and summer months, have begun putting up warning signs on public paths where these pests have been identified. But given that these moths are assumed to lurk…

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