Traps have been placed in pine forests across the region by the Department of the Environment, in the hope of catching butterflies of the pine processionary caterpillar, which are about to emerge from their chrysalis

The service, Compañía Treatment de Levante S.L., has placed 25 pheromone traps capable of trapping males in a number of different pine forests in the municipality. The traps have been placed in strategic areas where a greater number of caterpillar incidents have been detected during the months of January-February.

By capturing the males, the probability of meetings with females is reduced and therefore there are fewer spawns and fewer pockets in the future. This biological control method does not use harmful chemicals and will be operational between June and September.

Traps set to capture the male processionary caterpillars

The traps will be reviewed periodically, and the results monitored so as to indicate the most appropriate time to start phytosanitary treatments in autumn.

The pine processionary is a lepidopteran that is the most important defoliating pest in Mediterranean pine forests. It attacks the trees causing the defoliation of the pines and a decrease in their growth, it manages to weaken them and makes them prone to attacks by other pests, as well as causing stinging reactions in people and animals, irritation to the skin, eyes and nose, sometimes causing severe allergic reactions, which constitutes a health risk in urban and recreational areas.