Avoid brown caterpillars on Lincolnshire coast, warns East Lindsey District Council

Coastal visitors have been advised not to touch the harmful brown caterpillars which have been spotted on beaches and promenades.
Coastal visitors have been advised not to touch the harmful brown caterpillars which have been spotted on beaches and promenades.

Harmful brown caterpillars have infested Lincolnshire’s coast over recent weeks causing several beachgoers to suffer painful irritant reactions.

East Lindsey District Council has advised coastal visitors not to touch the insects, believed to be brown tail moth caterpillars, though they stress the district’s beaches and promenades remain ‘perfectly safe’.

“These caterpillars can cause some people to have an allergic reaction, such as skin irritation,” said a spokesperson.

“It is expected that the caterpillars will have gone within the next two to three weeks.

“Anyone who is concerned following an adverse reaction should seek medical advice.

“We would like to reassure residents and visitors that it is still perfectly safe to visit the beaches and promenades to enjoy leisure activities.”

The caterpillars are armed with up to two million barbed hairs, which can penetrate the skin causing an irritant reaction.

The infestation tends to arise around this time of year when the warmer weather brings them out of their cocoons buried in the dunes.