Processionary Caterpillars in Spain –

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On the off chance that you live in Spain or visit amid the very early spring time, you may have heard individuals discussing the processionary caterpillar. This animal is frequently referenced in gatherings by puppy proprietors who have seen them out on their strolls and are cautioning others of the peril. 

It’s a genuine risk as well. We don’t generally connect caterpillars with the possibility to execute, however these animals have caused the passing of numerous pooches and different creatures and have made their menaces known to pet owners the hard way.  

What exactly are the procession caterpillars?
The pine processionary moth flies around May to July and lives for around one day amid which time it must mate and lay its eggs in the foliage of a pine tree. A solitary female can lay up to 300 little eggs and it takes around a month for them to incubate. 

When they have brought forth, the moment caterpillars have five development stages called ‘instars’. Amid their third shed or instar they manufacture the white cotton-fleece like home and keep on benefiting from the pine leaves until the fifth instar. This generally happens whenever from February to April. 

Now, the caterpillars (procesionaria del pino) advance toward the ground in a long chain looking for the following spot in their life cycle. This conduct gives them the name of the ‘processionary caterpillar and looks like a small snake going about its business’. You can remember them by their unmistakable orange-dark coloured shading and blue groups. 

In the long run they will scatter to tunnel just underneath the ground where they will pupate. Before this happens they can be a peril to people and different warm blooded animals. It is the hairs of the caterpillars that can cause issues. On the off chance that they are contacted or jabbed they cause a frightful rash and radiate residue that can cause respiratory issues. They are especially dangerous for kids and creatures. 

On the off chance that the caterpillar is focused or undermined it can launch its hairs which act similar to spears and can enter or disturb any uncovered skin. Puppies are especially defenceless as they will get the hairs on their paws and after that lick them as they tingle. This at that point prompts the hairs being exchanged on to the creature’s tongue and can bring about tingling, swelling, heaving and even demise. 

What you should do in the event that you discover the procession caterpillar?  
In the event that you wind up mindful that you have these caterpillars on a urbanisation, at that point you should bring to the attention the network of proprietors and alert them regards their presence, put up signs on the trees warning pet owners until they have been evacuated. In a few regions the chamber will evacuate them yet where this isn’t the situation you ought to draw in an authority. You shouldn’t endeavour to move them yourself as it is a vocation for a specialist. 

In the event that you do contact one and end up irritated you ought to seek the professional help of a specialist immediately. The rashes can be exceptionally difficult and bothering and can keep going for fourteen days. 

In the event that your pet is tainted you can as a rule tell on the grounds that there will be little white spots in the mouth and on the tongue and the creature will end up upset and conceivably slobber. On the off chance that they stay untreated, creatures can pass on as the tongue will swell and now and again must be cut or cut away. In the event that you realise your pet has been influenced, at that point you ought to go to the vets promptly, where they will presumably be given a cortisone infusion. 

The general public should be watchful about any homes the caterpillars have left in the trees. These will likewise contain a portion of the hairs that the hatchling’s have deserted. Do not endeavour to trim down the homes or consume them yourself as the hairs can progress toward becoming airborne. Once in the air the very light hairs can be digested by breathing them in. 

They are viewed as a genuine irritation, a risk to the pine trees themselves and, obviously, a threat to creatures and people. On the off chance that you are aware of another person to the territory who may not know, it merits cautioning them of the peril.

Can processionary caterpillars affect all pets including “cats”?
Yes, all animals and humans can be affected the same way should the hairs be breathed in and if they make contact with you. 

As you can see by the Facebook post above on the Facebook Group “la Cala de Mijas” the threat is very real. This lady had an encounter with one of her dogs and as a result the dog fell very ill. Luckily her fast thinking and knowledge of the procession caterpillar probably saved her dog’s life. 

This blog was written by Equitas Property Spain – We help 
with Property for sale in Spain and Spanish Mortgages 

Harmful to Humans?
Yes, and something we have been told about in the comments below. Jess told us her story her daughter having contact with the caterpillars and the affect it had on them both. Please read and make your comments below. 

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2 thoughts on “Processionary Caterpillars in Spain –

  • February 24, 2019 at 12:16 am

    It should be noted that these are also extremely dangerous to children. My daughter touched these and had to be rushed to hospital and if she had touched her throat or mouth she would have been suffocated. She touched them and hours later while in the hospital she was screaming and holding on to my shoulders and through a jumper I ended up with a rash that lasted for 3 weeks, caused scaring and felt like my body was on fire. It should be stressed how dangerous these are to people as well as animals.

    • February 24, 2019 at 12:19 pm

      Hi Jess, absolutely . I will add this shortly . Thank you for your input .


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