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pine processionary caterpillars

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Offline lucy

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« Reply #20 on: March 26, 2007, 23:11 PM »
I’ve seen hoopoes eating the caterpillars on Montjuic.  On one occasion the hoopoe was probing one of the nests.  It then flew to the ground and spent an eternity hacking at the caterpillar it had pulled out.  It gave me the impression that the procesionaria must be very tough, since the hoopoe bill is so long and sharp looking.  Another time I found a hoopoe already on the ground, having attacked a procession on the move.  Again it spent ages cutting up the caterpillar, or whatever it was doing to get the thing into a suitable condition for eating.

Offline Clive

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« Reply #21 on: March 27, 2007, 00:03 AM »
Hola,

Hey Lucy, I don't suppose you have a photo of a hoopoe eating a processionary caterpillar do you? We could re write some bird books!

Clive
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Offline Technopat

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« Reply #22 on: March 27, 2007, 00:42 AM »
Greetings All,
So we now have hoopoes and great spotted cuckoos snarfing to their hearts' content on the poor wee creatures - could this explain why on my last visit to the Guadalajara mountains (near Dave's brother-in-law's place!), last weekend, there was not a single white furry thing to be seen, whereas this time last year there was hardly a treetop to be seen without w. f. things? Or does it merely mean the spray planes got there first? Has anyone else noticed fewer signs this year?

Nick, El Mundo article just great - talk about lobbying, scare-mongering and subliminal advertising! The last-minute reference to human health issues just 'bout sums it all up!

As for Lucy's and Clive's rewriting bird books - maybe if iberianature could sponsor the publishing of said books, some of the proceeds could be channelled back into iberianature's other ongoing wildlife preservation projects, such as the permanent rook sanctuary up in Dave's neck of the woods, the batboxes so highly spoken of by Jill, or the setting up of a webcam outside Derek's setts. Only half-joking! (A webcam on a 'shroom site?)

Spring is def. in the air!
Regs.
Technopat
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
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Offline Sue

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« Reply #23 on: March 29, 2007, 23:45 PM »
Hi Technopat and All,

sorry but it sounds like the spray planes got there first!

By the sounds of the Hoopoe that Lucy saw eating a single caterpillar, it is an art form to prepare, perhaps peeling them like a prawn. I doubt it will have much impact on the hundreds of little beasties per nest.

Regards, Sue
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Offline Technopat

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« Reply #24 on: March 30, 2007, 00:07 AM »
Greetings Sue and All,
Isn't there just the teeniest remotest poss. that the powers-that-be haven't got round to spraying yet - surely their priorities would be city parks. I didn't notice any particular smell or sign of the fixative diesel oil that Clive mentioned.

Surrounding mountain slopes still have patches of snow and it might seem counter-productive to the nobs to spray under such conditions.

Ever-optimistic regs.
Technopat
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Offline Sue

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« Reply #25 on: March 31, 2007, 00:18 AM »
 Hi Technopat,

only one problem to the theory, they have to spray the leaves before the caterpillars climb down and go underground. So it was probably done early winter, when they are eating machines and so before the nests are big white candy floss clumps.

Or maybe the spotted cuckoos have been feasting!

Regards, Sue


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Offline Technopat

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« Reply #26 on: March 31, 2007, 00:30 AM »
Thanx Sue,
That's what makes this Iberianature forum so great - always some reasonable and knowledgeable person out there with scary stories to make the less intrepid want to stay at home and leave the dangerous outdoors to us nutters who aren't worried 'bout getting sprayed, bitten, stung or shot at. Not to mention the sunburn, frostbite, sprained ankles and so on.

Can't we convince the 4x4ers to stay at home and watch reality shows? (see my reference elsewhere to scary urban legends).

Regs.
Technopat
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Offline Technopat

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« Reply #27 on: April 27, 2007, 14:11 PM »
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Offline Dave

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« Reply #28 on: April 27, 2007, 17:52 PM »
Dear All
On the way to Torre last week A66 approaching Puerta de Manzanal, lots of evidence of pine processionary caterpillars, candy floss on around 25% of the trees, unable to stop and observe (motorway) in detail, but no evidence of serious problems to the trees.
Regards
Dave

Offline ValL

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« Reply #29 on: January 13, 2008, 17:25 PM »
During our wanders through forest we saw a fair few nests of these blighters, mostly on young trees.

« Last Edit: January 13, 2008, 19:51 PM by Wildside »

Offline Clive

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« Reply #30 on: January 13, 2008, 19:55 PM »
Nice image ValL

It seems it is this time of year again. We noticed a lot of the nests the other day. Some of the nests would be so easy to destroy if there was a team doing the job for the next 2 months or so... The money is there but it seems the various institutions prefer to wait until they get to plague proportions before doing anything about it...

It's very annoying..
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Offline shiner

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« Reply #31 on: January 14, 2008, 18:19 PM »
High Val, if you have any nests within spray them with 50/50 bleach and water it  melts them and the nest not recommended on a breezy day--good luck
Shiner

Offline ValL

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« Reply #32 on: January 14, 2008, 20:06 PM »
Thanks Wildside  :)  was being careful not to get too close to them.   It does seem mad that they dont do more to protect the trees/forests. While on Gib we met up with the man who looks after the Botanical Gardens there ( we got married there) and Kew Gardens  he is a cacti expert and he is using  pheromone traps to help control the pesky pine caterpillars.

Shiner, we do not have any near enought ot worry us thanks for tip though.

Offline tonyninfas

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« Reply #33 on: January 22, 2008, 18:54 PM »
Whilst walking along the tracks at the back of the Playa del Torn at L'Hospitalet de l'Infant yesterday I saw this year's first bootlace ? of these things.  Seems rather early to me although it was a beautifully warm day.  Wwould they withstand a frost if one came along ?  I hope not.  >:D

Offline Clive

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« Reply #34 on: January 22, 2008, 19:16 PM »
HI All,

Tony, if they are on the ground in a "bootlace" then that means within a short time they will have burrowed underground to pupate. So Yes they will be frost hardy.

Caught out of the community nest or above ground during a cold snap will kill off a few though.

The life cycle is amazing of these creatures... Check out the links from previous posts...
Explore the nature of Iberia at www.wildsideholidays.com

The beautiful town of Ronda, the City of Dreams?

The spectacular Caminito del Rey, El Chorro and Guadalhorce reservoirs El Camino del Rey

Offline Technopat

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« Reply #35 on: January 22, 2008, 22:16 PM »
Greetings Shiner and All,
Was wondering if the bleach mixture would work equally well with wasps' nests? I haste to add that as far as Technopat is concerned, wasps have just as much right to share our environment as I do, but reason I ask is 'cos my f-in-l just loves spraying humongous amounts of highly-toxic pesticides all over the garden - kids running round, windows wide open, and mixture made a ojo de buen cubero (En. anyone?) - and if I can tell him that an expert has told me that bleach is just as good. No good trying to get him to spray with Clive's garlic mixture - even though I suggested spraying a control group just to see the results - they all had good laugh at Technopat's expense over that one.

Cheers,
Technopat

PS.
I'm taking for granted that bleach is less of a contaminant than pesticides ...
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Offline shiner

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« Reply #36 on: January 22, 2008, 22:35 PM »
Hi Technopat tell your p-in -l to try Neem oil fantastic stuff non toxic kiddy and animal safe and puts the kybosh on a hole host of trouble some garden pests, dont know about effects on processionaries Neem oil found on web

Offline Maria

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« Reply #37 on: February 09, 2008, 14:04 PM »
Ive been helping a friend today to get rid of these nasty creatures. She has a house with a huuuuuuuuuuuuge pine tree next to it and the caterpillars have been leaving the tree and instead of going to find a nice place to go underground they have decided to invaid her house. We had masks and gloves on and no piece of skin was left uncovered, yet still their hairs have managed to get us!!  :o

Someone said to use bleach on them, dosnt work! A local Spanish man said to pour diesel on them but we decided that was a waste of fuel so we opted for the good old insect spray and it works a treat. Amazing little creatures they are its a shame they couldnt stay outdoors.

The tree is so big and over hangs terraces she is unable to get the branches with the nests in them cut out. Does anyone have any ideas on how to keep them at bay rather than killing them every year?? I have a few pics which I can post if anyone is interested, even have one of the rash thats arrived!!

Maria

Offline tonyninfas

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« Reply #38 on: February 09, 2008, 18:54 PM »
Our friends use a flame thrower on the processions from their pines.

Offline Maria

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« Reply #39 on: February 09, 2008, 19:08 PM »
Thanks for that, not good when your house is on the side of a mountain, you live in the driest area of Spain and it hasnt rained for weeks, best give the flame thrower a miss otherwise I can see the house going up in flames along with half the mountain. Its already been set fire to once by a Brit a few years ago, devastated thousands of hectares of forest for 4 days, I dont think the locals would be too impressed.  Any other ideas?  :noidea: