The forest service announced on Wednesday that it would carry out serial spraying against the pine processionary caterpillar between November and January in wooded areas.
Aerial spraying will begin at 7:30 a.m. and end at 2:30 p.m. Residents and affected authorities will be notified through individual notices of the days when spraying will take place in their areas.
Developing in winter, the pine processionary caterpillar Thaumetopoea pityocampa is native to the southern Mediterranean and North Africa and well documented in ancient times. In recent decades, it seems due to global warming, it has, since the 1990s, moved further north and is found in the forests of northern France.
The caterpillar gets its name from the fact that in groups they walk nose to tail through the wood as if they were in a procession. They make their nests high in the trees, defoliating as they go.
It is considered to be one of the most destructive species for pines and cedars, causing untold damage to coniferous forests, and can also injure people due to the thorny hairs on its back, a defense mechanism against predators. .
The hairs secrete an irritating chemical that causes rashes in people as well as eye irritation, and some may have an allergic reaction.