Veldhoven starts curbing caterpillars

Caterpillar of Thaumetopoea processionea, on the bark of an oak tree near Hinsbeck, Germany. Photo credit: Sarefo/wikicommons

Veldhoven has started combating oak processionary caterpillars, says the municipality.

Last year, residents of this town suffered greatly from the caterpillars. That’s something the council wants to avoid this year. Therefore, the trees that had many of these critters last year will be treated as a precaution this year.

The municipality is going to place nesting boxes for tits in many of its oak trees. The birds build their nests in the boxes. Once the eggs hatch, the chicks will need to eat. The adults will feed them insects, including the processionary caterpillars.

Protected butterflies

Officials will treat the oaks on Sterrenlaan differently. Several of the trees house protected butterfly species. Those trees are therefore sprayed with nematodes. These are tiny worms.

These, like the tits, like to feed on processionary caterpillars. Council workers will spray on the nematodes at night. That’s because the worms are much less active in the daytime. In other places, the municipality council will be employing an organic pesticide.

However, the municipality says oak processionary nests will remain that could prove troublesome. That’s despite all these measures. They’ll only remove these nests if they unduly affect many people.

Source: Studio040

Translator: Bob

Editor: Melinda Walraven

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