THE P.E.P.A. animal charity has issued a timely reminder about the dangers to your (furry) pets of certain insects. The processionary caterpillar is usually only found in Spain and France and is a danger to animals, people and even the pine trees they live on. They are generally around in the spring but there have been reported sightings of them in this area already.
The danger is in the final stage before pupation when the creatures grow tiny hairs that can cause breathing problems if inhaled while they also eject the hairs which can literally get under your skin. If a dog or cat licks them this can cause extreme irritation or even worse reactions and the animal should be taken to the vet straight away. If you see a nest of the caterpillars let your local town hall know and they should be able to arrange for specialists to remove them safely. DO NOT TOUCH THE NEST YOURSELF!