Oak Processionary Moth

June 2023

Oak Processionary Moth (OPM) caterpillars are now active and can be seen on the trunk and branches of oak trees on Banstead Downs and Banstead Heath.  The caterpillars feed and live exclusively on oak trees and defoliate the trees.

OPM caterpillars and their nests contain hairs that can cause itchy rashes, eye and throat irritations, and should not be touched under any circumstances at any time. The greatest risk period is May to July when the caterpillars emerge and feed before pupating into adult moths.

OPM was first identified on Banstead Downs in 2019 and on Banstead Heath this year.

Banstead Commons Conservators take a risk based approach to the management of the tree pest on our sites.  Please visit the Forest Research website for further information.


Do not disturb the nests and do not allow children to touch the caterpillar or play on or near to infested trees.