London, Apr 29 (AP) Residents in London are being told to beware the white-haired caterpillars that can cause rashes, vomiting and asthma attacks. Also Read - Priyanka Chopra Flouts COVID-19 Lockdown Rules By Visiting Salon in London With Mom Madhu Chopra, Police Alerted

The British Forestry Commission says caterpillars that become oak processionary moths have been spotted in and around the British capital since mid-April. Also Read - Amid Fears of New COVID Strain, Flight With 256 Passengers From UK Lands in Delhi

The caterpillars are covered in thousands of hairs containing the protein thaumetopoein, which can cause skin rashes, sore throats, breathing difficulties and eye problems. Also Read - New Coronavirus Strain: South Korea Extends UK Flight Ban For 2 More Weeks

People are being warned not to touch the creatures, which are most often found in oak trees – and to keep pets away from them, too.

Officials are treating oak trees with pesticide to try and eliminate the moths, which were accidentally introduced to Britain in 2005 on plants imported from continental Europe.

The Observer newspaper said today that authorities will also set traps for the caterpillars.(AP) AMS

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.