A plague of dangerous moths in Halstead has led to health concerns in the town.

Several bushes on the site of Halstead Hospital, Hedingham Road, have had to be cordoned off due to an infestation of brown tail moth larva.

The larva, which grow to about an inch long, have long hairs that break off as barbs and on contact with skin can cause rashes, skin irritation, headaches and breathing difficulties.

They are also known for stripping trees and shrubs of foliage.

Local moth expert Richard Bigg of the Cambridgeshire and Essex Branch of Butterfly Conservation said:“The moths are very destructive to the hedges they are in and the hairs on their bodies can cause irritation if they come into contact with skin, either by being blown off by the wind or if someone brushes against them.

“I think dangerous is a bit of a strong word to use, but if there are children playing nearby it could be a concern.”



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