Categories: Animals

How to get rid of processionary caterpillars naturally

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Discover how to get rid of processionary caterpillars naturally.

In your garden, if you have spotted several caterpillars not far from the pine, one behind the other, these are processionary caterpillars. Here is some information and tips to take control of the situation without the risk of rubbing your little stinging hairs.How to get rid of processionary caterpillars naturallyHow to get rid of processionary caterpillars naturally

What are processionary caterpillars?

Processionary caterpillars are small caterpillars that are found most of the time around pine trees. The Thaumetopoea pityocampa, a pine processionary caterpillar, after leaving the nest, only moves in single file forming a long train.

Unfortunately, if you have them in your garden, these caterpillars can damage your plants, your flowers as well as your fruits and vegetables.

In addition to being harmful, they are dangerous for humans and their pets. Their hairs are extremely stinging and cause allergic reactions. If you go looking for trouble you’ll find it!

What do they cause?

Red patches, respiratory problems, or even worse, anaphylactic shock in extreme cases, these small caterpillars, at first sight harmless, turn out to be quite dangerous. And they are also for your pets.

If you have a cat or a dog that is used to walking in the garden, it is likely to walk on it, play with it or simply want to eat it. Their tongue can thus begin to swell and it is then necessary to consult a veterinarian quickly. As for your plantations, they are a real ordeal since they destroy everything in their path. Pines and cedars are their first victims.

How to spot their presence?

With the return of fine weather, the risk of finding processionary caterpillars in your garden increases. And especially if you have pines!

So equip yourself with long clothes, protect your face with a scarf, a mask, glasses or any other protection (especially at the level of the eyes and the mouth) then inspect your garden, especially around Pines.

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Above all, do not shake the branches and if you notice a nest of caterpillars, remove it carefully or wait for the arrival of a professional if you do not feel like doing so.

It is indeed preferable to remove it and then deal with the problem rather than tapping on it or shaking it, the risk being to end up with caterpillars falling on you…

How to get rid of processionary caterpillars naturally

Attract tits to your garden: install small nesting boxes with water and seeds so that they come to your home to eat. Arrange them preferably towards the pines where the processionary caterpillars are. By the way, they will put one or two in their beak, they who love these caterpillars!

Plant birches: If you have spotted several consecutive years that you have been invaded by processionary caterpillars, it is interesting to plant some leafy trees such as birch for example. Its relatively strong smell is an excellent natural way to scare away these dangerous and harmful little insects.

Spread Thuringian bacillus: Harmful for the processionary caterpillar but not for the environment, this product considerably reduces the proliferation of these insects that are harmful to plants, humans, and animals.

Use the Ecopiège® collar: to do this, simply hang this bag filled with soil around your pines. Descending from their nest, the caterpillars will not notice that they are burrowing into a bag and thus begin their process of the chrysalis (the cocoon which will subsequently hatch a butterfly). All you have to do is incinerate this bag to make the caterpillars disappear.

How to eliminate nests?

Finally, if you can’t get rid of it with these tips and you discover a nest (a cocoon), you can detach it and burn it as mentioned above. Be sure to cover your body, eyes, and hands properly if you decide to take care of it yourself.

Otherwise, call a professional who will know how to get rid of these harmful insects. He will advise you, teach you how to manage the situation in the event of nest renewal. And yes, because every year, it is likely to start again…

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