Can OPM be fatal to humans or pets?
To date no human, cat, or dog deaths have been recorded by people or pets coming into contact with OPM. However, the older caterpillars are covered in irritating hairs that contain a toxin. Contact with these hairs can result in skin irritation and allergic reactions such as rashes and conjunctivitis. If the hairs are breathed in, this can cause asthma or anaphylaxis. These problems are significant because OPM are mainly found on urban trees, along forest edges, and in amenity woodlands.
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