Caterpillars infesting trees in Lewes

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LEWES has been invaded by a plague of caterpillars ... but the official line is: “Don’t panic”.

Several shrubs on the outskirts of the town now resemble something out of a horror film.

Their foliage has been eaten away and they are riddled with cobweb-like clusters. Writhing clumps of caterpillars are suspended on gossamer threads.

Fears that the creepy-crawlies could be the poisonous brown tail moth caterpillars have been dispelled.

The Environmental Health Department at Lewes District Council said in a statement: “They are the caterpillars of a species of Ermine Moth. They are not dangerous, but we would ask that you do not touch them as all caterpillars can cause mild skin irritation.

“The trees are not likely to suffer any long term damage, and should recover next year.”