On the Tilburgseweg-Oost, the local residents have been troubled by the oak processionary caterpillar for a long time. Now they will finally be burned away.
It is the white stinging hairs of 0.2 millimeters long that are a health hazard. The hairs cause a lot of itching, red bumps and it can also enter the airways. One person is a bit more sensitive than the other. “Fortunately it doesn’t bother me, but my girlfriend is completely covered in red bumps,” says a neighbor. “She scratches herself endlessly.”
This year has been a very nice year for the caterpillar, due to a mild winter the caterpillar has been able to develop easily. After that came a relatively cold period, so that his natural enemies, such as the great tit, blackbird and cuckoo, later crawled out of their eggs. The oak processionary caterpillars are many and then the only thing you can do is close windows and doors and go outside as little as possible.
Making one tree processionary caterpillar free is still quite a job. The nests are glued together, then they are put in plastic bags or sucked up. Or they are burned away. It can take up to four hours for a tree to be completely clean.
The neighborhood is happy that something is being done about it. They can leave the house again without scratching.