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Because of their human, tree and animal health hazards, the caterpillars, or larvae, of the oak processionary moth (OPM) should not be left uncontrolled.

The main focus of control is to prevent or limit further outward spread of the pest, and to minimise its population and impacts where it is present. To be effective, control operations must be carried out in partnership between landowners, government and local authorities in a co-ordinated response. This requires action by everyone who owns or manages oak trees in the affected areas.

This manual has therefore been written for owners and managers of oak trees which are or could be affected by OPM. The advice it provides applies regardless of whether you have only one or two oak trees in your garden or you are responsible for many oak trees in larger areas such as parks, woodland, streets and other situations.

The advice in this manual reflects the strategy agreed between Forestry Commission England and local authorities, with advice from Forest Research and others with experience in this field. Your feedback can help to improve it – please send it to


  1. Contents and introduction (above)
  2. Public and animal health advice
  3. Management zones
  4. Biology and life-cycle
  5. Surveying and monitoring
  6. Chemical control
  7. Nest and larvae removal
  8. Occupational health
  9. Pheromone trapping
  10. Other work on oak trees
  11. Handling oak in OPM areas: Good practice guide
  12. Pictures

Next – Public and animal health

Further information

Tools & Resources
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Tools & Resources