This well-known oak tree parasite is a caterpillar that devours the leaves, until it gathers to form a nest that looks like a spider web.
The scientific name is Thaumetopoea processionea and it’s also called oak processionary moth.
Solution to treat against oak processionary
There is practically no available effective anti-parasite treatment. The only solution is to prevent caterpillars from spreading to other oak trees.
- Locate and destroy nests which are a wispy white color, as if made from spider webs.
- In some areas such as England, authorities prefer that you report the nests to the local forestry bureau. They will dispatch a team to rid you of the nest.
To preserve and protect surrounding trees, cut off branches where nests form and destroy them.
- Also read our page on caterpillar control
Smart tip about oak processionary
Take great care when cutting caterpillar-infested branches off. Indeed, hairs from these hairy caterpillars are extremely itchy, not only for you but also for dogs, cats, and any other pet living in your house!
- All about the oak tree
Credits for images shared to Nature & Garden (all edits by Gaspard Lorthiois):
Colony of oak processionary by Jacqueline under Pixabay license
Oak caterpillar on leaf by Andreas März under © CC BY 2.0