The Department of the Environment of the Orihuela City Council has started the treatment against the processionary pine caterpillar across the municipality. Councillor Dámaso Aparicio explained that in the first phase “a treatment will be carried out against the caterpillars that are feeding on the needles of the pines at this time of year, using a biological spray.
The processionary pine caterpillar attacks trees in the Mediterranean pine forests causing defoliation and limited growth. The damage weakens them and makes them prone to the attack of other pests. The caterpillars are also harmful to animals and children, as their hairs cause irritation to the skin, eyes and nose. In severe cases they affect the respiratory system.
Between January and March the next phase of the treatment will continue with the placement of interception rings to stop the descent of the caterpillars from their nests in the trees. Once they descend to the ground they bury themselves and form the chrysalis from which the butterflies will emerge in the months of May and June.
For this reason, between the months of May and August (the butterfly flight period), the males will be captured using pheromone traps, in order to disrupt the flight curve.