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Message started by ColinB on Jan 21st, 2016 at 8:39pm

Title: Processionary caterpillers
Post by ColinB on Jan 21st, 2016 at 8:39pm
Pine Processionary Caterpillars are maturing and are on the move,  We have never seen so many nests around our home as well as up in the mountains.  The animals are nocturnal, leaving the nest to feed on pine needles at night and are active from +2 degs to +20 degs.  They commune by day where their collective heat helps digest the low quality food.  Mucho info on the Internet.  What amazes us this year is the number of trees being stripped, totally defoliated and apparently dying.  Small fresh trees and big giants, once they get infected it llokss as thought they're on the way out.  The big warning seems to be keep your dogs away as they will really suffer if they get the hairs on their feet and then on their tongues.  I enjoying burning the nest with a propane torch.  Fizz, pop !! I wear a face mask BTW. 

Title: Re: Processionary caterpillers
Post by Cariad on Jan 23rd, 2016 at 12:26pm
On Tuesday Esplai Terra are giving information about the caterpillars .They want people to send pictures to their facebook page  of any they see and the place name. The programme is on Catalan tv I think it's 1.30 . 

Title: Re: Processionary caterpillers
Post by Ritaratbag on Jan 23rd, 2016 at 12:43pm
Where does one start?
All our neighbours around here have fir trees, and they are covered with nests.
One tree is almost stripped bare, by the caterpillars.
Also you can see hundreds of nests by just going along the C12, Xerta/Benifallet areas.
I don't use Facebook, so can't help, sorry.

Title: Re: Processionary caterpillers
Post by PlanesPete on Jan 24th, 2016 at 1:55pm
The Agents Rurals have a biulding in El Perello, on the N340 by Censals. The pine trees behind it are dying from the huge numbers of nests there.

Title: Re: Processionary caterpillers
Post by ColinB on Jan 29th, 2016 at 9:14pm
All the trees we have within reach of our hose (about 120 metres) are getting a regular drenching.  I'm working on the idea that if they're wet they'll be cold and they won't be happy.  I note there are no nests in the pines near the coast.....  dunno y but interesting.

Title: Re: Processionary caterpillers
Post by Draconill on Jan 30th, 2016 at 12:45am
You're joking aren't you? I live 600m from the coast near l'Ametlla de mar and between there and the sea there are loads, and many more in the general area.

Title: Re: Processionary caterpillers
Post by mf175 on Feb 7th, 2016 at 12:11am
I believe that the mild winter has let the caterpillars thrive.
I've seen so many nests and destroyed trees surrounding  my land in the Burga.
I carefully removed around 60 to 70 nests last week by clipping of the branch and bagging them up. I then destroyed the nests on a controlled fire on my land.
I regularly walk my dogs in this area and don't wish for them to become harmed by the caterpillars, I also don't want to see the pine forests become decimated.

Title: Re: Processionary caterpillers
Post by Bigyin on Feb 9th, 2016 at 1:40pm
They're really on the rampage at my place yesterday and today.  Destroyed 7 processions so far.  One was about 8ft long.  Most I've ever seen.

Title: Re: Processionary caterpillers
Post by ColinB on Feb 9th, 2016 at 2:08pm
It takes a lot to kill a procession with a butane blow torch !  The hairs burn off easily but the animals still squirm after a 1600 degree roasting !  On the next procession I find I am going to stick a pin in the leader so it can't move then wait and see if the entire column becomes like a British motorway in August  .... :-), bumper to bumper going no where. 

They're all off to pupate in crevices in the rocks but they the Hoopoes favourite lunch time snack.  Hooray for hoopoes !


Title: Re: Processionary caterpillers
Post by Ritaratbag on Feb 9th, 2016 at 3:18pm
Neighbours have tall trees and they are full of nests.
Now the caterpillars are heading across and into our property.
A real nuisance, for us and pets.


Title: Re: Processionary caterpillers
Post by Bigyin on Feb 9th, 2016 at 6:30pm
I just use insect spray Colin.  Unfortunately there aren't enough Hoopies to make any impact.

Title: Re: Processionary caterpillers
Post by Bricon on Mar 23rd, 2016 at 7:32pm
Hi
One way to kill Processionary Caterpillars is to take a stick (not your finger) and push the first one round until it joins up with last one.
They then go round in a circle until they die of hinger.
Bricon

Title: Re: Processionary caterpillers
Post by Ritaratbag on Mar 23rd, 2016 at 9:11pm
You are joking arn't you?
When the caterpillars come out of the nest they have been eating already are ready to pupate.

Title: Re: Processionary caterpillers
Post by ebrorob on Mar 24th, 2016 at 2:16pm

wrote on Mar 23rd, 2016 at 7:32pm:
Hi
One way to kill Processionary Caterpillars is to take a stick (not your finger) and push the first one round until it joins up with last one.
They then go round in a circle until they die of hinger.
Bricon



Not quite the 1st of April yet Bricon.    8-)  8-)

Title: Re: Processionary caterpillers
Post by ColinB on Mar 24th, 2016 at 11:30pm
Scoff if you want to.  Firstly check out the various websites of people who have studied the insect. It's true.  The circle kills them of hunger.

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