Yesterday, whilst walking with Bok in the woods, I came across two long lines of Processionary Caterpillars. One lot was about three metres long, the other about two.
May I remind everyone (who lives in areas where such creatures exist) that these Caterpillars are extremely dangerous for unwary dogs. Our own late Monty once tried to eat one, and not only became very ill, but eventually lost about a third of his tongue from the poison.
It is worth also remembering that they are dangerous for humans as well. I hate to say it, but they are best squashed when found.
You can't mistake them at this time of year, they walk in long lines across paths, etc.
Whatever their nefarious purpose may be they look beautiful. I often wonder how certain creatures fit into nature's "food chain", considering that they appear to be on a (self) destruct mission.ReplyDelete
On a practical note, Cro: When you squash them do you do so with your boots? My concern here that bits of now minced caterpillar will cling onto the soles of your footwear thus evenly distributing the poison over a larger area.
The upshot being, in the words of my father: "Life is one of the most dangerous. It usually ends in death."
I ALWAYS wipe my shoes/boots after having squashed them, I'm very cautious. Of course we're fighting a losing battle as their white cobweb-like nests are everywhere in the Pine trees.Delete
Our council has started to disenfect a hillside area because there are big fluffy ball-like nests on the top of the pines already. It kills the trees. They say the mild winter brings them on.ReplyDelete
Greetings Maria x
That sounds like the same ones; good to hear that the authorities take them seriously, they don't here.Delete
We get those lines of caterpillars too but didn't know they were poisonous. Haven't seen any yet. There will be trails of them all across the road soon. I won't feel sorry for them this year as I drive over them.ReplyDelete
I give you permission to squash them; they are very nasty creatures.Delete
Yes. I photographed these in France and got a very stern warning from my brother (he knows about all things like that). As it happened I'm an inveterate looker-upper and had already discovered how poisonous they are.ReplyDelete
It's surprising how many people know nothing about them.Delete
I was just talking about those to Paul the other day and how on earth can you keep a dog away from them. Horrid critters.ReplyDelete
Most dogs just avoid them; Labradors however have to eat anything they find.Delete
Luckily we don't have them here (I hope.).ReplyDelete
I hope you keep it that way; nasty things.Delete
I remember seeing them here in Australia as a kid, or similar. As long as they don't jump up at me, I will let them march on. Anyway, we have worse, our spitfire caterpillars that reside en masse in trees and target the unsuspecting with their vile poison. I don't think they cause fatalities, just scarring.ReplyDelete
They sound like cousins!Delete
They have reached Southern England now, I hear. Bear in mind that they will actually spit out their poisoned spines at you from quite a distance if they think they are under attack. I once returned to my friend's house in the mountains of Spain to find them going round and round the top of an oil drum where he had lit a fire. I didn't know what they were, so I almost tried to save them by scooping them up to safety, but didn't! It turned out that he had found a nest in the oil drum and had tried to burn it - these were the survivors! I could be blind now.ReplyDelete
The hairs can cause nasty respiratory problems if inhaled, and skin irritation if touched. They are best squashed underfoot.Delete
Wow, thank you for the very important post!!! Thank you for taking a picture of it too so we can be aware of it!ReplyDelete
Actually I borrowed the photo as I didn't have my camera with me! Thank you anyway.Delete
Field mites aboud here in spring.....i wont take the dogs in long grass nowadaysReplyDelete
I've not heard of 'Field Mites'. We have Ticks that are a nuisance; dogs have to be medicated.Delete
Avoid pine trees.ReplyDelete
That's the answer. I'm now walking Bok away from Pines.... which is not easy.Delete