National Police issue warning on toxic caterpillars that pose threat to dogs

National Police issue warning on toxic caterpillars that pose threat to dogs Image Credit: Twitter @policia

Spanish National Police have issued a warning on the dangers that toxic caterpillars pose to dogs and young children.

The National Police took to Twitter on Wednesday 30 March stating: “Be very careful if you are walking in areas with pine trees and you come across caterpillars. The Processionary Caterpillar is deadly to dogs and dangerous to children.”

 If you come into contact with the caterpillar please:

-Do not rub the area.

-Wash with water.

-Go to the doctor/veterinarian.”

The warning comes before the arrival of the sunny spring weather, which increases the likelihood of encountering the toxic caterpillars, who are not seen as frequently during the colder and rainier periods of the year.

The processionary caterpillar is native to North Africa, The Middle East, Southern Europe and the Southern Mediterranean area. It lives in tent-like nests that are found high in pine trees and uses its hairs, which contain an irritant chemical known as “Thaumetopoein”, to defend itself against predators. This chemical can cause rashes in humans, as well as allergic reactions in some cases. It is this same chemical that can cause lethal problems in dogs who ingest the caterpillar.

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Written by

Joshua Manning

Originally from the UK, Joshua is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at