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Processionary Caterpillars

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I’d never heard of these until today when we mentioned going to Gorges du Tarn to friends.


Their dog nearly died after ingesting some there - apparently all around the crag was covered in them, and local events were being cancelled as well due to the numbers of them with people being brought out into rashes.

Gorges du Tarn was due to be our next stop but we might give it a miss now. I was wondering if there’s any particular areas to avoid due to them? I guess they will currently be out now we’re into spring.

Any are there any particular precautions to take other than keeping the dog on a lead and having an emergency vets number on hand?

In reply to James Malloch:

Not just a problem 'abroad' and not just for dogs. 

Oak processionary caterpillars are present in several areas of London and Surrey. 

The hairs on the caterpillars contain an irritant toxin which can cause skin rashes, conjunctivitis, throat and respiratory irritations and anaphylaxis in both animals and humans. 

Cetirizine based antihistamines seem to be a an effective treatment / prophylaxis. 

 mrjonathanr 16 Apr 2022
In reply to James Malloch:

This is what my Spanish friends warned: don’t go near them, especially don’t lean over them to look, as they spray a cloud of hairs which are a powerful irritant to eyes, lungs etc

 Grahame N 16 Apr 2022
 RX-78 16 Apr 2022
In reply to James Malloch:

We were in the alpilles today, lots of warnings about them but didn't come across any.

 bpmclimb 19 Apr 2022
In reply to James Malloch:

When you take off jumpers, Tshirts, etc., put them away in a rucksack rather than draped on the rock.

 critter 19 Apr 2022
In reply to James Malloch:

Particularly careful with dogs. The irritant spines of the caterpillars lodge and become chronically infected in the nasal passages. In the worst case this can lead to the need for nasal amputation.

 99ster 19 Apr 2022
In reply to James Malloch:

Here's some on the move....

youtube.com/watch?v=2zUMH7a_kdg&

 jcw 19 Apr 2022
In reply to 99ster:

fascinating, but how does the leader know where he's going?

Post edited at 20:21
1
 Kevster 19 Apr 2022
In reply to James Malloch:

There's also those others at Swanage etc, they're hard work when you get got. Don't roll around at the tops. 

Seems a limestone thing?

 critter 19 Apr 2022
In reply to Kevster:

Their not bold enough for grit?

 Kevster 19 Apr 2022
In reply to critter:

They job share with midges. 

 Wilderbeest 19 Apr 2022
In reply to bpmclimb:

Get to the finish of the climb at Swanage, pull off the T shirt and lay it it on the ground to dry…

Turn T shirt the right way round, and put it on for the next climb.

Wonder why you wake up the next day covered in a rash.

In reply to James Malloch:

If you attach the leader to the rear guard they go round in circles. (so they say!) Pretty good analogy if you need one.


 Trangia 20 Apr 2022
In reply to full stottie:

> If you attach the leader to the rear guard they go round in circles. 

Are you talking about the Conservative Party? If so, move the thread to Politics 

 Lesdavmor 20 Apr 2022
In reply to James Malloch:

If you carefully remove the leader and put a break in the line, the procession loses direction. BUT very carefuly

In reply to James Malloch:

Thanks for all the replies. I wonder if the t-shirt/jumper thing is why I’m covered in so many “bites” yet I’ve not seen anything on me and my partner has none…

 DDDD 23 Apr 2022
In reply to James Malloch:

Pets can die from them and people regularly get hospitalised from them. They make me extremely unwell just from there being hairs in the air so I don't go to the Tarn anymore. I think a large part of the massif central is affected. They do appear to affect people in different ways though so you might be lucky.

 Will_he_fall 24 Apr 2022
In reply to James Malloch:

I was hiking near Terradets on a rest day and came across a guy carrying his girlfriend,  who was going into anaphylaxis triggered by the caterpillars. She was super ill, struggling to breathe. We chucked her in our van and raced to meet an ambulance- all too exciting...


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