Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Oak Procession Caterpillars

Oak Processionary: recognize and control damage or danger processional caterpillars
Oak Procession Caterpillars
Latin name: Thaumetopoea processionea.

The oak processionary is originally from Central and Southern Europe. The oak processionary (butterfly) has, presumably under the influence of climate change in our country managed to establish. Dry winters make for easier overwintering eggs and the dry, hot summers encourage the development of the caterpillars. For several years developing the caterpillars in the Netherlands and Flanders regularly in such large quantities that can speak of a plague. Eaten bare oak trees and severe itching nuisance to children or residents are the most familiar consequences.

How do you recognize the processionary (butterfly)?
The young, small caterpillars are orange when in late April from their wintering eggs come. After the third moult the caterpillars have dark hairs on the back, making them look drab gray look with light-colored silk. The mature caterpillars are up to 3.5 cm long. The caterpillars molt six times before a cocoon to pupate. After pupation the oak processionary butterflies appear. These are inconspicuous gray moths which in turn at the end of the summer, lay eggs in the tops of oaks.

The oak procession caterpillars live in groups together and create the trunks or large branches thicker nests. Usually these caterpillars nests are then on the sunny south side of the oak trees. The nests consist of dense webs of shed skins, with stinging hairs and their droppings. From their nest to the tracks at night in a row or rows 'procession' in search of food, the oak leaves. Sometimes almost eaten bare oak trees as a result.
The procession caterpillars have a gray-blue color with light-colored silk and are adorned with long hair. In May, June and July can be observed. Often they only noticed when they have eaten the trees partially bare. Oak trees (especially indigenous, sometimes American oak) enjoy their preference. In the absence of food they take pleasure in leaves of other trees such as beech and birch. The caterpillar disappears with the pupation. From this moment, the danger has passed. The adult moth is inconspicuous gray. He appears from late July to late August and may occur.
Problems which the caterpillars?
The hairs on the caterpillar forms a human health hazard. The hairs are 0.2 to 0.3 millimeters long. A fully grown caterpillar has about 700,000 hairs small fire. The arrow-shaped hairs from unwanted touching to be active as a defense "fired" by the caterpillar. Also, the hairs from the nests are carried passively by wind or vibrations from traffic and released redistributable.
After direct contact with the stinging hairs arises within the 8:01 red painful rash with severe itching. This is characterized by bumps, pimples or fluid-filled blisters that can become infected. Often these reactions occur on exposed skin, but by rubbing or open carry, for example, perspiration can also occur on the overlying skin.If there are hairs in the eyes, they may within 1 to 4:01 give violent reaction of the conjunctiva and / or cornea with swelling, redness and itching and in some cases with inflammation. Following inhalation hairs also cause irritation or inflammation of the lining of the upper respiratory tract (nose, throat and upper windpipe). The symptoms resemble a cold nose. Furthermore, people also complain of any pain in the throat and swallowing difficulties, in some cases there is shortness of breath. In addition, there are general symptoms occur, such as vomiting, dizziness, fever ...Large groups can procession caterpillars eat oak trees completely bare. Yet, healthy trees are hardly affected by a single defoliation. Usually, the oak trees are the same summer or next year leaves because the caterpillars do not eat the leaf buds. Whoever came in contact with the processionary, will probably still remember intense itching discomfort. The long hair, which released the caterpillars when disturbed, the body can also cause serious infections or asthmatic reactions lead! Because they contain formic acid and feature a hook back.

Skin contactThe netelharen penetrate the epidermis with a severe infection may result. Within eight hours after contact with the hair appears to rash associated with intense itching. The rash will disappear within two weeks. Problems of the netelharen processionary can occur without direct contact with the caterpillars has been. The hairs can be carried by wind and also in clothing. They can be removed by rinsing the clothes.
Eye contactAs the hairs come into contact with the whites, they can cause an acute inflammation. They penetrate deeper into the eye, they can have a chronic eye infection with a type of nodule formation cause. Since then several months may have elapsed, the connection is not established. Only with surgery, the hair is then removed.
Upper respiratoryInhalation may swallowing, inflammation of the nasal mucosa and respiratory disorders may occur.If in doubt, a doctor!
Even animals, especially dogs, can suffer from the stinging hairs of the caterpillar. Dogs are primarily at risk when they sniff the roadsides of litter or take it into their mouths.For cows and horses is that they need to prevent nests may come into contact. Horses are susceptible to the oak processionary than other animals. In addition, problems occur such as cattle grazing in infested trees or grass or hay from the immediate vicinity of affected oak is used as cattle feed.
What to do with nuisance oak procession caterpillar?

Notify the municipality or fire department, these people specialize in fighting and removing these dangerous nests. They will take appropriate action or inform responsible authorities. It is possible that a municipal regulation describes how, where and when the caterpillars must be fought. The most effective method is to burn or soak up the caterpillars and their nests, preferably early in the season when the hairs are not developed.

Avoid any direct contact with the caterpillars and also make your children aware. Avoid contact with even further (old) hairs and shedding the old skins still in silk nests. The hairs cause irritation to continue because five or eight years after the death of the tracks ..
What you should not do?

Touch the caterpillars themselves and try to fight. Do not use insecticides because of the irritating hairs remain active for a long time and these resources can be harmful to humans and the environment.
Wegspuiten example with a pressure washer you can definitely do not. The hair and the caterpillars can then get spread through the air after all.
Place your tent directly under trees, where the oak processionary present. Chances are that your tent is otherwise contaminated.
Was the hang out in the immediate vicinity of the oak procession caterpillar is also not recommended, chances are that you were infected with the irritating stinging hairs.
Outdoor vegetables grown in an infected area, you can harvest and then gently rinse. Are the harvestable edible crops, however, in the immediate vicinity of processional caterpillars populated with oak trees, it can present a problem because harvesting the crops may be contaminated with whether or not passive failed stinging hairs.
Picnics under trees with oak procession caterpillar is definitely not recommended.
If you regularly in a lane lined with trees infected it is best to ride for minimum coverage of arms, legs and neck care. If possible you can even take quite an alternative cycle route.
Finally: Never shoot in panic when caterpillars are in your neighborhood. Common sense and careful approach to avoid undue disruption.
How do you avoid discomfort?

Avoid any contact with the caterpillars
Wear clothes that neck, arms and legs and do not sit on the ground.
After contact with caterpillar hairs, or you can not scratch or rub, but the skin and eye wash or rinse with water.
If necessary wash all your clothes.

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