• Caterpillars hairs ‘active’ up to a year

Processionary caterpillars are rife, with a plethora of incidents already occurring this year, as nests start to fall from trees.

Processionary caterpillars’ hairs are extremely dangerous – to both humans and animals – with a single hair ‘active’ up to a year.

Processionary caterpillars
Processionary caterpillars nest (centre) in a pine tree in Los Montesinos. Photo: Andrew Atkinson

Once the processionary caterpillars die, it is strongly advised not to sweep them up or handle them, as hairs cause severe neurodermitis.

One pet owner faced a visit to a vet, after a dog was caught up in processionary caterpillars hairs, and a bill of 100€.

Along with nests in public areas, notably in pine trees, readers informed The Leader of invasions in gardens and on terraces.

Jade Butlin, from La Zenia, was a victim – along with her partner and children – suffering a severe rash from processionary caterpillars’ hairs.

“I brushed processionary  caterpillars off a wall – and within minutes I was covered in a painful and very itchy, angry looking rash,” Jade told The Leader.

“My children were inside – but after going into the house, they too also had a rash,” said Jade

“I can only assume the hairs came off my clothing,” added Jade, whose son, aged 5, and partner were victims of the processionary caterpillars hairs days later.

“They were outside playing football and within a short time had the same rash. My son suffered worse – I think hairs must be in the air,” said Jade, whose house is next to a ravine.

“We’re almost above the top of lots of pine trees. It was not a nice experience at all,” said Jade.

Garden Felix
Garden Felix