Thaumetopoea pinivora – Pine Processionary Caterpillar
The pine processionary caterpillar has its name from the habit of forming a snakelike line while searching for food. Their nests hang inside of the pine trees. It is highly recommended to not remove the nests without appropriate protective clothing.
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The small hairs of the caterpillars can cause strong allergical reactions. Skin contact forms a painful itchiness, a rash can follow. The reactions are ranging from mild inflammation and irritation to severe anaphylactic shock.
Also pets, especially dogs sniffing after the procession can fall ill seriously.
For your own security a treatment of attacked pine trees is recommended. Left or empty nests are still a danger, the effect of the hairs can hold on up to one year.