In adults these hairs
can cause severe skin irritations and occasionally anaphylactic shock Ė
closure of airways.
Children and the elderly, whom have less resistance, can be more severely affected. Medical assistance should be sought should you have a close encounter with the caterpillars.
The caterpillars have a bittersweet smell and both cats and dogs will attempt to eat them. Unfortunately this will almost certainly be fatal. One, if eaten, can be deadly for a cat and three or four will kill a medium-sized dog. The reaction to the poison also causes necrosis of the animalís tongue and by the time the owner notices the problem it is usually too late for veterinary treatment to do
anything but ease the animalís suffering.
Pine Processionary Caterpillars are a mottled brown colour with faded yellowish spots. They build nests, which resemble balls of white candyfloss, high in the branches of Pine trees. They leave the nests at night, in procession fashion, as night, to feed. In
pine trees in public places are generally sprayed, then the nests
are dislodged with poles and then they are burnt.