The dangerous caterpillars

The dog takes a short cut through the scrub, Branches hang on the narrow trail, or the child runs to the Play in the bushes in the early summer, it often comes to unwanted encounters between humans and caterpillars. It becomes dangerous when it is in the animals in Germany, more and more frequent, the oak processionary moth. The most important questions and answers about the animals in the Overview.

Why are oak processionary dangerous?

The caterpillars are covered with stinging hairs that can break off easily, and allergic reactions. In addition to violent itching of the contact with the hairs to nettle addiction, and in some cases even lead to an allergic shock. When Inhaled around of hairs fly’s breath could be symptoms such as Bronchitis. If you feel after contact with the caterpillars uncomfortable or extensive rash develops, you should go for safety’s sake, to the doctor. A allergic shock occurs, helps the rescue service 112.

Where does the oak processionary moth?

The caterpillars prefer warm and dry regions, according to the schutzgemeinschaft Deutscher Wald (SDW). Especially far you are spreading the naturschutzbund Deutschland (Nabu) reports that in Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Hesse, Brandenburg, Saxony-Anhalt, Berlin and North Rhine-Westphalia.

How can the Webs of the oak processionary moth detect?


The white Webs of the oak procession spinners resemble a Nest, the trunk of the tree depends. Usually they are located at oaks, as the Name of the groomers reveals. In the years In which the animals multiply particularly strong, made of soft but other trees such as Beeches, writes of the Nabu.

The caterpillars are at the beginning of your life yellowish-brown, with increasing age, they change colour to grey-blue to black. You can have up to five centimeters in size, is your body completely with stinging hairs covered. The caterpillars pull in large groups on the trees and they eat bald. On the night in search of food, they form, according to Nabu, up to tens of meters long chains, the so-called processions.

Caterpillars on an oak trunk

How should you protect yourself?

Anyone who sees nests or caterpillars, should not touch. It is also important, in affected areas during a walk or stay in the garden as close as possible to closing to wear clothes.

The broken, nearly invisible stinging hairs remain, however, are also toxic, if you are liable about of shoes or sweaters. Sometimes you can also trigger years later, still have allergic reactions when someone touches it.

Who discovered nests, this should be reported to the SDW, according to immediately to the competent health or gardening. Removed the caterpillars and Webs only by a trained pest management professionals should be.

From when until when threatened, the caterpillar danger?

Most of the caterpillars form at the end of April or beginning of may, the first burning of the hair. At the critical time from the end of may until the end of June is the most, however. In this Phase, the animals lose many hairs, which are then carried by the Wind from the nests. From the end of June, the caterpillars begin to pupate and disappear from the nature. However, abandoned nests are dangerous, as fragments of skins and burning hair stay long to the Webs are liable.

The nests are harmless figment of moths resemble those of the oak processionary moth. How do they differ?

Dream moth nests which cover entire trees and bushes, such as white veil form. They are found especially on grapes, cherries, but also on hawthorn, Euonymus, poplar, and willow. In exceptional cases fruit trees can be affected.

The small caterpillars are colored, in contrast to the oak procession spinners completely glabrous and yellowish with black dots. They pupate quickly, therefore, the bald-big-fat-trees can sprout from the end of June.

Hobby gardeners can cut out the harmless Webs in the garden. Alternatively, the landesbund für vogelschutz in Bayern advises the animals it is best that they collect before you make Threads.