Cómo combatir la procesionaria

Towering trees such as pines, cedars or willows can seem proof of everything, they are strong in any season of the year, and that nothing could make them sick. However, there is a pest capable of weakening them, and that they grow slower, can also cause serious hives for people or death for pets. In this article we will try to solve all the doubts about How to combat the processionary

Didn't you know this? If you have pine trees, are thinking of planting some or want to start with a vegetable garden, we recommend you stay and read more about the Processionary, what it is, what damage it causes and how to combat it.

What is the Processionary?

Like all caterpillars, the Processionary belongs to the defoliating Lepidoptera, usually appears in southern Europe specifically in forests or rural areas, and is considered one of the most devastating pests for pines in Spain.

The Processionary has its mating period at the beginning of summer, they leave the eggs in the leaves of the pines (Needles), they take almost a month to hatch and the caterpillars go down to the ground to spend the winter in their cocoon. Finally, they make their metamorphosis in summer to continue with their life cycle.

You may be wondering what damage they do to trees? The worst part is in spring, because after spending a winter hungry, the processionary will have more appetite and will be much larger.

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How to combat the processionary?

What damages do the Processionaries cause?

We already know the most relevant data of its life cycle and the seasons where we must take more care of pines, cedars and willows; but now we must know the consequences of not giving proper care to the trees in the season of Processionaries, or not taking care to touch any.

Hives, allergies and itching

The Processionary is not dangerous when it has already undergone its metamorphosis and reached its adult stage, but when it is still a larva or when it begins to grow uncontrollably. This is because these caterpillars have stinging hairs as a defense mechanism to protect themselves from predators.

While these hairs are not deadly to humans, they can cause painful allergic reactions, hives, and redness of the area it came into contact with. However, pets can eat these caterpillars and could cause death by internal necrosis.

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How to combat the processionary?

Defoliation or death of trees

Depending on the age of the tree, the climate and the type of tree, these caterpillars will try to satisfy their hunger for needles and will not get tired until they weaken or defoliate a tree. On the other hand, it is important to consider that a defoliation of a pine tree does not mean that it will die, only that it will be much weaker, will not grow quickly and will be vulnerable to any other pest that may arrive.

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How to combat the processionary?

How to combat the Processionary?

Now that we know everything we need about this caterpillar, we can start with the most common methods to avoid their nests, combat them and prevent future unwanted visits of adult processionaries in your pine reserve, orchard or in your home.

Cómo combatir la procesionaria

Without more to add, then we leave you some ways to combat the Processionary:

Remove or break the Pockets

Pines are trees with a considerable height, but if they have not yet grown enough, you just need to find all the pockets on each tree and cut the branches carefully so as not to break them. On the other hand, you can hit the pockets at night if there is cold weather for the environment to do its job.

Remember the stinging hairs, protect yourself as much as possible and never touch with your bare hands the clothes you used to eliminate the processionaries. Sure, unless you want to have 4 weeks of severe pain and itching in the affected area.

Delete nesting zones

The processionary are usually buried around the base of the tree, they are easy to find due to the appearance of mounds and this time is indicated to kill them. However, it is not a 100% effective alternative, it takes a lot of time and you should know exactly the months in which the processionary came down from the tree.

The solutions we offer at Raíz Verde

Chemicals should not be taken lightly and should be treated with respect and care, because the misuse of these could negatively affect the environment, pets, trees and not harm these caterpillars that we want to eliminate. That is why in Green Root we have specialized in offering the following methods to combat the Processionary:

Spray with gun

It consists of spraying a phytosanitary product of excellent quality with a special gun that allows to reach every corner of the trees, and is excellent for the elimination and prevention so that these caterpillars do not appear.

Use of Pole

This solution is similar to the previous option, but it is specialized for pines that are very tall and that the chemical is spread evenly on the tree.

Injections or endotherapy

This type of treatment is done with a direct application to the body of the tree with a perforation, which allows to inject the phytosanitary product required so that the processionaries die when trying to lower, defoliate or make their nests in the pines.