Brown-tailed moth caterpillars return to Worthing

Cocoons near Tesco , Goring
Cocoons near Tesco , Goring

CREEPY-CRAWLIES of the irritating kind have returned to the area after invading Worthing last year.

The brown-tailed moth caterpillar, which can cause skin irritation, headaches and breathing problems with its hairs, has infested cotoneaster bushes outside the Tesco Express, in Goring Way, as well as in The Plantation and in bushes near the toilets on Goring seafront up to Goring Hall Hospital.

They were spotted by the Ilex Conservation Group slightly more than a week ago, and since then the group has contacted the council to have the moth removed.

Chairman Keith Burns said: “The infestation outside Tesco is quite noticeable.

“When you drive past you think you’re seeing flowers, but they’re actually moth cocoons.”

Last year, the caterpillars made the headlines in the Worthing Herald when thousands of them infested gardens in Pavilion Road, which adjoined the railway line.

Two people had to be taken to hospital in Chichester after suffering severe reactions from coming into contact with the caterpillars.

Keith said the moth had infested Portsmouth recently, causing particular problems to children and the elderly.

“At the moment they’re quite small, but they’re going to grow, and in the winter the place is going to be crawling with them,” he added.

To join the Ilex Conservation Group, which meets each month, call Keith on 01903 504885.