Germany’s toxic plague

In may, the caterpillars are paralysed the A1 at Hamburg for three nights. At a sports festival in Mühlheim three students with skin irritation and shortness of breath had to go to the hospital. In Dortmund, a Park was closed for three weeks. This list could go on and on. For weeks, the oak procession has spinner citizens and municipalities in Germany. The most important questions and answers.

What is oak processionary moth and how he looks?

The oak processionary moth is an inconspicuous moth that is best in warm and dry areas. For the egg laying, he prefers free-standing oak trees. The name processionary moth the Moth is due to the caterpillars in June in up to ten meters long processions go in search of food. The caterpillars hatch in early may and are by a wide dark dorsal line visible. It hairy fields are velvety with red-brown, long-hairy warts.

Caterpillar of the oak processionary moth

Why is it in Germany?

Mild spring months and warm, dry summers favour the mass propagation of the moth. Information of the German forest protection Association (SDW), the oak processionary moth is spreading now in all German Federal States. Most of Berlin, Brandenburg, Saxony-Anhalt, Baden-Württemberg, North Rhine-Westphalia and Bavaria are affected.

The oak processionary moth is it dangerous?

The Moth itself does not represent a danger for the people, but its caterpillars. You carry from the third larval stage of stinging hairs, which contain the protein, Thaumetopoein, and allergic reactions in humans and animals trigger. Shortly before pupation, a caterpillar has up to 700,000 burning hair. The nettle poison is still several years active.

The SDW warns, therefore, against the abandoned nests in trees and on the ground. Caution is advised, among other things, when Collecting firewood in the affected areas. The hairs can be blown away with the Wind.

Nest of oak-procession of crackpots

What happens to hair when in contact with the Combustion?

The caterpillar hairs are equipped with barbs. You come into contact with the skin, you set there and cause irritation in the Form of nodules, blisters and inflammation. If left untreated, these last for one to two weeks. Due to drifts the hairs can also get into the respiratory tract and eyes and the mucous membranes of the attack. In the worst case, the patient will suffer an allergic shock.

With caterpillar hairs in contact-what – now?

The European centre for Allergy research Foundation (ECARF) advises:

  • Change your clothes immediately in the open and at 60 degree wash,
  • visible caterpillar hairs with adhesive tape to remove,
  • affected items such as a backpack or car, thoroughly clean,
  • shower thoroughly and clean the hairs,
  • irritated eyes, rinse with water,
  • in case of skin irritation the in-house doctor,
  • in the case of shortness of breath the emergency service alert.
  • For the treatment of skin reactions and itching cortisone preparations and antihistamines are also suitable.

    How can I protect myself?

    Health authorities and government ministries of the country to call on the population to mindfulness. Experts advise to take the following protective measures:

    • from the oak procession spinners infested areas to avoid
    • Caterpillars and their nests, do not touch, and
    • sensitive skin areas such as neck, neck and forearms to protect.

    What are the measures for the protection of the population taken?

    Pest control mechanical methods are used, among other things. For this purpose, the Suction of the nests, as well as their proper disposal in the waste incineration belongs to. The Bavarian state Ministry strongly advises against it, nests itself abzuflämmen or remove with a jet of water. Due to the health risk of special techniques were necessary.

    What time is the plague back?

    The wedding had the caterpillars in June, beginning of July, they begin pupation. Is not the danger anyway. Because the toxin the caterpillars over several years to be effective and to find all year round molting nests in forested areas are the source of the hairs throughout the year a risk.