Brown Tail Moth


Common in Europe and southern UK. Outdoor species, larvae feeding on trees and shrubs. May cause damage to ornamental plants. Public health pest significance due to irritating larval hairs.


Egg-larva-pupa-adult. 1 generation per year.

Eggs – laid in batches on food plant, covered in protective irritating hairs from female abdomen. Hatch in late August/early September.

Larvae – dark, hairy with 2 red spots, live in groups and spin communal silk tents. Feed during day on upper leaf surfaces. Hibernate end October in thick winter tents on tree branches. Re-emerge in spring to resume feeding. Become solitary in early summer.

Pupae – in silk cocoons between leaves in late June, early July.

Adults – large, white wings, brown abdomen with thick tufts of hairs. Emerge in July/August.


Larvae have protective irritating hairs which become detached from cast skins and are blown around, may stick to washing hung on lines. Can cause severe rashes and irritation on skin and eyes.


It is essential that you do not attempt to treat this pest without prior knowledge as it can be harmful and can cause extreme discomfort. Sabre has many years of experience in dealing with Brown Tailed Moth and the treatment is very specialist.

Please call 01923 634564  or e-mail for further assistance.