Processionary Caterpillars NerjaAs spring is on its way, the processionary caterpillars are on the move and one visitor, Jordan Gumbley, has spotted a chain of them outside his house on the outskirts of Nerja. The caterpillars come out at this time of year in search of food and march in a long line, noise to tail. Experiments in America have shown that if the caterpillars are put in a circle nose to tail they will go round and round until they die from lack of food.

Children and pets should be kept well away from the processionary caterpillars because the caterpillars are covered in small hairs, which can cause an allergic reaction if touched. When humans come into contact with these hairs, they can cause reactions ranging from mild inflammation and irritation to severe anaphylactic shock. If the hairs contact your skin a rash soon forms which can be incredibly itchy, painful and lasts for as much as three weeks. The worst problems occur if someone makes contact with the caterpillar directly and ingest the hairs. If you come into contact with these insects and get any reaction medical advice should be sought.

The caterpillars only come out during the early spring, so be alert if you are out walking your dog.

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