How to get rid of processionary caterpillars?

What are processionary caterpillars?

Processionary caterpillars, name given because of their movement in long lines, are butterfly larvae which cause notable damage in green spaces. Particularly harmful to pines and other types of trees, they are also known to be a danger to human and animal health due to their highly allergenic stinging hairs.

Identifying Processionary Caterpillar Infestation

To effectively combat processionary caterpillars, it is crucial to be able to identify their presence at an early stage. Look for signs of decay on pine needles, and watch for silky, white nests in the treetops during the winter.

Natural methods of prevention

Using natural prevention methods is one of the most environmentally responsible ways to control the caterpillar population. Installing nest boxes to encourage the presence of birds such as tits can be beneficial, as these birds are natural predators of caterpillars. Placing pheromone traps in spring also helps capture male butterflies, reducing the chances of reproduction.

Mechanical solutions to eliminate caterpillars

Physically eliminate the nests of processionary caterpillars can be made using a telescopic tool designed to unhook and destroy the nests. This method should be carried out carefully, wearing protective clothing to avoid skin irritation.

Biological eradication methods

The use of specific bacteria such as Bacillus thuringiensis is a biological approach that is safe for the environment. Sprayed directly on infested areas, this bacteria is ingested by the caterpillars, preventing them from feeding and causing their death without harming other species.

Effectively combat processionary caterpillar infestations by opting for a combination of methods. Regular monitoring of trees and the adoption of natural prevention techniques, combined with targeted interventions in the event of an infestation, help protect your green space while preserving the local ecosystem.

For more tips and strategies on managing pests in your garden, continue to educate yourself and practice eco-friendly methods. Together we can contribute to a greener and healthier world.