Sunday 4 December 2016

Caterpillars strip trees of leaves

Published 19/05/2011 | 14:38

Thousands of caterpillars have invaded a popular park and stripped some trees of all their leaves
Thousands of caterpillars have invaded a popular park and stripped some trees of all their leaves

A pest control manager has sought to reassure the public after thousands of caterpillars invaded a popular park, stripping some trees of all their leaves.

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The caterpillars have been identified as ermine moth larvae and have formed large communal webs covering railings and tree trunks in the park at Shipley Fields Road, Bradford.

The infestation is not dangerous, but has caused local people to stay clear of the park.

Dennis Shipway, Bradford Council's pest control manager, said: "We are going to let nature run its course because the ermine moth larvae is harmless. If we were to spray insecticide it could damage the environment more and pose a risk to residents.

"The recent prolonged period of warm weather created ideal temperatures for the larvae to grow which explains why there is so much of it."

The park contains around 40 trees and more than 20 have been stripped completely bare.

Bradford Council said officers believed the trees would blossom again either later this year or next

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