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I found what I thought was a beautiful caterpillar on my strawberry plant. Did a google and its a brown tail moth toxic hairy beast! I have the itchies just thinking about it now. Are they common in Scotland? What should I do? Could it affect my hens?


you've done the best thing with it jarob, taken its photo

I can't think it's too serious, they've been around a long time and it's only in recent times words like toxic have been used, some of the hairy caterpillars can be a bit irritant, so can stinging nettles and all sorts things. 

Don't get caught up in the modern hysteria about anything that may not be perfectly 100% innocuous.There's room for us all. 

What a pretty caterpillar!

I've just looked at Wikipedia to find out more and it seems that the brown tail of the moth is actually hairs that the caterpillar sheds when it turns into a pupa. The emerging moth then gathers them up and somehow sticks them on its back as camoflage!

I agree with nutcutlet. These things have been around for millenia and we are all still standing. A bit like the ignore button on this forum, it's always possible to just ignore things that don't appeal and eventually they will wander off and leave you in peace.

I would never kill anything but I was thinking to relocate it away from my sprogs :-)

i used to lift caterpillars - hairy and otherwise - across the road to safety on my way to and from school when I was in primary lol.

I am amazed to see it in my garden. I found a toad the other day too My wildlife gardening attempts must be working

just need to attract a hedgehog now and some ladybirds



I'd love to have hedgehogs. Getting a few ladybirds now though


nut- I'm definitely getting brave. A couple of night ago I went out when it was dark to lock shed etc and there was a large-ish brown/orange moth stuck inside the tomato house. I opened the door  and gently caught it and steered it outside! Didn't cry or anything! 



I reckon you've got that one sorted


Shudder!I would cry.


I found one of these on a heuchera in my garden too - didn't know what type it was so relocted it to a geranium patch that i don't really like, and was happy for it to eat as much of that as it wanted!

When we had a the warmer weather a few weks ago i found a frog in the greenhouse enjoying a dip in the water tray for my cucumber - was quite happy so i just left to make it's on way home when it had finished paddling!

Heather Michaels

I would have run off screaming like a girl leaving the shed door unlocked and in fear of my life lol God I have got to get a backbone

It is still munching away happily on my strawberry. I have warned the bairns not to touch it. 

I'm not scared of anything in the garden. I am not happy about big spiders crawling on me but would never kill them - always lift them and put them out. Not a fan of wasps but not terrified like I used to be before I was stung. 

Heather Michaels wrote (see)

I would have run off screaming like a girl leaving the shed door unlocked and in fear of my life lol God I have got to get a backbone

Heather- I used to be the same where moths were concerned. nut has helped me enormously with my daft and irrational fear of them 

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