BEWARE: Processionary caterpillars expected to be worse than ever

BEWARE: Processionary caterpillars expected to be worse than ever

Processionary caterpillars are covered in poisonous hairs

THE threat of the processionary caterpillar is worse than ever this year vets warn.

The reason for this is that the restrictions brought about due to the coronavirus pandemic have led to many of the usual treatments carried out to prevent the appearance of the caterpillars were suspended.
Despite the cold spell this winter, the Thaumetopoea Pityocampa the caterpillars are starting to appear and the National Association of Environmental Health Companies ANECPLA warns that there will be more than ever. One of the reasons we mentioned above, and another is current restrictions on products which were used to control the processionary caterpillars.
The technique being used, endotherapy, is effective and environmentally friendly, but its cost makes it hard to tree large areas of trees.
The caterpillars are covered in around 500,000 hairs which are like poison darts to animals an even minimal contact can cause dermatitis, eye lesions, hives and allergic reactions to histamine. Symptoms in dogs include swelling of the muzzle and head, intense itching and excessive drooling. If they eat one, the poison can cause necrosis of the tongue and throat, resulting in death, according to Portal Veterinaria.
Be extremely cautious in areas with pine trees and if you suspect your pet has come in contact with a processionary caterpillar, get them to the vet immediately. Do not touch the caterpillars yourself and be especially careful that children do not touch them.

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Jennifer Leighfield

Jennifer Leighfield, born in Salisbury, UK; resident in Malaga, Spain since 1989. Degree in Translation and Interpreting in Spanish, French and English from Malaga University (2005), specialising in Crime, Forensic Medicine and Genetics. Published translations include three books by Richard Handscombe. Worked with Euro Weekly News since November 2006. Well-travelled throughout Spain and the rest of the world, fan of Harry Potter and most things ‘geek’.