Mallorca’s battle Against pine caterpillars

Council takes steps to combat pine caterpillar

Preventative measures against the pine caterpillar Credit:

Palma City Council is deploying a major offensive against the pine processionary caterpillar, dedicating over £150,000 to combat this pest across 400 parks and green spaces, including school areas.

This comprehensive campaign is not only a matter of public health but also crucial for preserving Mallorca’s lush landscapes and biodiversity.

The initiative, spurred by unusual climatic conditions including higher temperatures and scarce rainfall, encompasses a blend of preventive and eradication strategies. From tree spraying to the manual removal and removal of caterpillar nests, the campaign is meticulously planned to curb the caterpillar’s spread.

Deputy Mayor Belen Soto has shared insights on the campaign’s progress, noting, ‘the technicians of the Parks and Gardens Area have not detected a significant increase this year compared to last year’. This observation is particularly encouraging in areas like Son Quint forest, where the presence of caterpillars has markedly decreased compared to previous years.

To bolster these efforts, the council has introduced innovative measures such as installing special collars around trees. These traps are designed to capture any caterpillars not removed during the initial eradication phase, thereby reducing their numbers further.

Public health officials have played a vital role in this campaign, offering guidance to the community on how to safely navigate areas potentially affected by the caterpillars.

They stress the importance of avoiding direct contact with the caterpillars, their nests, and the protective collars on trees. Special attention is advised for children and pets, who are particularly vulnerable to the caterpillar’s irritating hairs.

In the event of contact, immediate medical advice is recommended, especially if symptoms such as hives develop. The council has also established a hotline for residents to report sightings of the caterpillar, ensuring prompt response and removal.

This concerted effort by the Palma City Council, health officials, and the community underscores Mallorca’s commitment to environmental preservation and public health.

By joining forces, the island not only addresses the immediate threat posed by the pine processionary caterpillar but also demonstrates the power of collective action in safeguarding its natural heritage and the well-being of its inhabitants.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.