Caterpillars are parasites of the pine trees: they form white, cottonwool-like nests on the pine trees and once a year in spring, depending on the outside temperature, they leave their nests one after the other in a “Procession” and transform later into butterflies.
The dangerous time starts when they leave their nests. In our region the most dangerous time is February-March while in more northern regions of Spain it is April-May.
The Caterpillars have a highly poisonous surface. Wherever humans come in touch with them with their skin, they suffer deep wounds like chemical burning wounds and often serious allergic reactions.
Our Pets are at high risk when the Caterpillar is outside its nest: Pets are curious and stick their nose in them or step on them or try to play with them- with the result of horrible injuries: where they step on them the paws get burnt and infected, after licking the paws the tongue swells up and causes very often a life threatening breathing problem. The worst case is an eye contact: if the eye gets burnt, very often they loose it. If the tongue gets burnt there exists the risk that the animal looses its tongue or part of the tongue!
Treatment of Caterpillar poisoning is possible but very intensive and sometimes it is not possible to avoid some persistent damage.
The very best in this time of the year is to be attentive and avoid every contact with them.
If you have pine trees in your property, cut off the white nests in winter and burn them to avoid the procession in spring
If you see a procession in your garden, only remove them with special protective clothes and masks to avoid any skin and eye contact!