Thaumetopoea processionea

Thaumetopoea processionea

Short pest overview:

Is a major pest in many European countries and threatens the health of oak trees. The larvae cause severe defoliation, reducing the viability of oak trees. They also pose a risk to both human and animal health because they shed poisonous hairs, which can result in severe allergic reactions, amongst other health problems.

Geographic Distribution:

The moth is native to Central and Southern Europe but is now present in almost all European countries and also in parts of the Middle East.

Life Cycle:

The eggs are laid in batches of up to 300, on 3-5 year old branches and hatch the following spring during bud burst on early-leafing trees. There are 6 larval instars, typically developing from midApril to early August, in the UK. The pupal stage lasts for 40 days and the adults live for 3-4 days, on average.