Friday, April 11, 2008

Caterpillars


In the branches of the fir trees there are what looks like big balls of cobwebs, about the size & shape of a rugby ball. These are the nests of caterpillars and they are right now starting to emerge and march towards a source of food - usually the vines. The 'processional' caterpillars go along in a line head to tail and are quite nasty if you get close to them - they emit a fine spray which can cause serve rashes and respiritory problems. So whatever you do DON'T do what I did and try to spray them with insect killer. Instead you are supposed first of all to break up the procession so they become disoriented then burn them. They are completely immune to any insecticide. I also tried putting them in petrol but that did not have any real effect and I ended up having to light a bonfire.
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2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Geoff tells me that WD40 shrivels the buggers. He assures me that this is not a 'known' cure but it seemed to work

David said...

I understand that if you speak with the Forestali they come with an effective insecticide (you need a licence to have it), load it into a shotgun then shoot the nests dead...