Marching in line

They're back! You can't help being fascinated by them. But far from being innocent, they are very dangerous, especially to your pets.

Every year the processionary caterpillars make their appearance and take us by surprise, marching in line following one another . Their home is a fluffy candy floss ball in pine trees and they descend to march along the ground. I have seen a procession of caterpillars on a street in Fuengirola. There was no nest in sight.

If you find a nest in your garden I strongly suggest that you get it professionally destroyed by a registered pest destroyer. Don't attempt to do the job yourself. You shouldn't attempt to burn the nest either as even the fumes are dangerous.

Your pet will be intrigued by the line of caterpillars and sniff. A caterpillar will attach itself to the pet's nose and will cause a great deal of pain. Telephone your vet and say you have an emergency. Keep the victim wrapped in a towel, well way from your body.

A friend of mine found his cat a victim of a caterpillar just as he was about to leave for the airport en route for America. In the car the distressed cat snuggled up to him and as a result he had to postpone his trip for several days.

If you find a nest on public land, inform the town hall and they will deal with it.