Warning about oak processionaries: to date, toxic caterpillars have been discovered – Augsburg – City

The oak caterpillars – or more precisely the caterpillars of this species of butterfly – were discovered this week in Augsburg, for the second time after 2018, by the Office of Landscape Conservation, Conservation and Cemetery (AGNF). .

Until now, caterpillars have been found in Wittelsbach Park, in Ilsesee (east side) and in Kita Zollernstraße.
The ministry recommends increasing awareness around oaks and avoiding contact with caterpillars and nests. Moths are harmless and oaks are not permanently damaged by the damage caused by food. The long white hairs of the caterpillars are dangerous because they can cause a strong inflammation of the skin and respiratory allergies in contact with the skin. The AGNF signs the affected trees in the public area where the butterfly was found. In places where the expectation of safety is high, for example in schools, the nests are removed. Signs are also left on the tree after removal if caterpillars have been left behind and the danger can not be totally ruled out.

When touching the caterpillars or their nests, clothes should be washed and the skin cleaned with soap and water. In case of significant skin irritation or allergies (asthma, cough), consult a doctor.

The caterpillars usually appear in masses of several hundred animals on a tree and move in "processions" on the trunks of oaks of the crown to eat the oak leaves. The AGNF assumes permanent and high pressure of new butterflies from adjacent areas.

New discoveries can be reported to AGNF at agnf@augsburg.de.
However, there is also a risk of confusion, especially with other species of gypsophobia, which attack shrubs and trees (eg bird cherry, Pfaffenhütchen) and are partly eaten. These paintings are not very beautiful visually but generally safe.

Distinctive characteristics of the oak processionary:
– Occurrence only on oaks
– The caterpillars appear in "processions"
– White hair and dark bands on the top of the caterpillar, yellowish-white on the underside
– Size of the caterpillar between one and 4.5 centimeters in six larval stages

There is no obligation to report and every owner of an affected tree must ultimately decide for himself whether or not to engage in a fight. (Pm)