Forestry Commission Oak Processionary Moth Newsletter No. 4

From the Forestry Commission, Programme Update 4 : 19 August 2020

Surveillance work

The summer survey for Oak Processionary Moth (OPM) nests is in full swing. We are very grateful to members of the public and organisations who have reported OPM sightings. These reports are a very useful supplement to our formal surveying to help us monitor OPM.

Pheromone trapping

We have recently surveyed pheromone traps in London and discovered that the lure sent to us from our supplier is defective. We have taken measures to source alternative traps for high-priority areas in the Protected Zone, including near the planting sites where OPM was found in 2019, and these are currently being deployed. As moths have begun to emerge, we have asked professional and amateur entomologists to report any suspected findings to the Forestry Commission through TreeAlert. Once the new traps are deployed, we will monitor these until September. Pheromone trapping helps us to monitor changes in the pest’s distribution and prevent onward spread.

OPM detected

We have discovered OPM on a very small number of trees at five sites within the OPM Protected Zone in Sussex, Luton, Oxfordshire and Cheshire. We have taken swift and appropriate action to treat the infested trees and minimise the risk of spread. This includes spraying trees in the affected areas and undertaking enhanced local surveillance. We urge everyone to be vigilant for OPM at this time of year and report any suspect findings (please see OPM reports section below).