Brown Tailed Moth

Brown Tailed Moth

Key Features

Brown Tailed Moth (Euproctis chrysarrhoea) normally cause problems in the larval stage. Moth caterpillars over-winter in characteristic silken tents, emerging in spring to consume vegetation in some numbers. Once fully grown, the larvae again congregate in larger silken tents in late June/early July in order to pupate.


Adult Brown Tailed Moth are approx. 18mm in length, with a 35mm wingspan. Eggs are laid in late summer, and several hundred larvae hatch out and quickly spin silken communal tents in vegetation, in which they hibernate for the winter months.


Brown Tailed Moth are common in Europe, but rarer in Britain, being confined to Southern areas of England.


Larvae have protective irritating hairs which become detached from cast skins and are blown around. Can cause severe rashes and sever irritation on skin and in eyes. The toxic hairs can contaminate downwind clothing hung out to dry, which then cause irritation when worn.

Severe infestations can cause considerable damage to trees and ornamental shrubs.


Cut out and burn winter larval tents, or burn pupal tents in summer. Spray leaves of infested plants, preferably in September or in mid May.


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