Caterpillars strike nation while it’s down, #cancelcaterpillars

The Netherlands will be overwhelmed by the oak processionary caterpillar this summer, in addition to its other woes. The protective suits that fighters of the oak processionary caterpillar usually wear are in short supply, as they are being used by healthcare workers treating coronavirus patients. 

The oak processionary caterpillar might not sound like much of a threat- and compared to coronavirus, of course, it isn’t. But it is a real nuisance to anyone who wants to be in nature this summer. Usually, the nests are sucked off trees by people wearing the protective suits because the evil little caterpillars release stinging hairs, which can cause itching, bumps, red spots and eye complaints.

It is definitely not a good idea for people to attempt sucking the caterpillars off the oak trees, according to Marc Kusters of VHG, the Gardener’s Association of the Netherlands. “That would really go wrong,” he said in an interview with NOS.

However, the oak processionary caterpillar is a growing annoyance in the Netherlands: last year 150 in 100,000 people were affected by the stinging hairs, in comparison to 20 in 100,000 as an average of the years before.

Basically, caterpillars are striking us while we’re down, and that’s just not nice. #CancelCaterpillars.

Feature Image: MrsJacqueline/Pixabay

Ailish Lalor
Ailish was born in Sydney, Australia, but grew up by a forest in south-east Ireland, which she has attempted to replace with a living room filled with plants in The Hague. Besides catering to her army of pannenkoekenplantjes, Ailish spends her days convincing her friends that all food is better slightly burnt, plotting ways to hang out with dogs and cats, and of course, writing for DutchReview.


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