Skip to comments.Belgian troops deployed to battle marauding caterpillars
Posted on 06/01/2007 12:23:55 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
BRUSSELS (AFP) - Belgian troops are preparing to battle an invasion of hairy caterpillars which can provoke allergic reactions in humans, authorities announced Friday.
From Monday, a contingent of 24 soldiers will take part in the fight against the well-organised creepy-crawlies, called procession caterpillars because of their habit of marching in lines.
They will join forces with firefighters, civil protection officers and private firms already doing battle against their tiny foes.
For the last two weeks several communes in Limburg have been invaded, with pedestrians, cyclists, outside workers and school children among the victims.
Authorities said that some 20 communes in the northern Flemish Brabant region has also been hit.
Such attacks by the hairy greyish creatures have hit Belgium since 1990.
"We have seen an extension of their territory compared to last year," said Brabant official Martine Verbeeck.
The caterpillars are common in central and southern Europe but have been tending northwards.
Their hairs are an irritant to people and animals alike.
With a little hook on their tails, they are easily dispersed by the wind.
People touched by a caterpillar can suffer itches, painful rashes and irritated eyes. The symptoms can last up to two weeks.
Caterpillars pictured in a forest in Diest. Belgian troops are preparing to battle an invasion of hairy caterpillars which can provoke allergic reactions in humans, authorities announced Friday.(AFP/BELGA)
attacks by the hairy greyish creatures have hit Belgium since 1990
Oh, at first I thought they were talking about the Muslims.
Rachael Corrie could have used some of these Belgian troops.
Holy mackerel, they're sending in the entire Belgian army!
Gl0bal Warming and Bush to blame, no doubt.....
Well, if they are French Mini-Me’s...........
Put on your gloves, scoot a few of them until they are marking in a circle and then watch them starve while they try to get to food.
So that’s why they didn’t help in Iraq. They are busy.
Nah . . .
Belgian troops are much like the French. Don’t expect a victory.
I don’t know.. blowtorches? have they dried goats?
Belgian soldiers to blowtorch caterpillars
A mini-platoon of soldiers wielding blowtorches will be deployed to the Belgian forests to tackle a plague of hairy caterpillars that are causing allergy outbreaks in humans.
Procession caterpillars, so called for the way they march in lines through forests, are covered in long, toxic hairs which cause dermatitis and respiratory problems and account for up to 80 per cent of doctor visits in the affected area.
The soldiers will spend six weeks in the eastern province of Limburg from Monday, waging a tree-by-tree war on the caterpillars, which cling in groups to trunks and branches.
“In teams of two people, they will go through the forests and burn the little animals off the trees,” Belgian military spokeswoman Ingrid Baeck said.
“There have not been enough people to do this and I think we can make the difference.”
Previous attempts to rid forests of the caterpillars, which number in the millions thanks to mild weather, have included spraying pesticide using a helicopter and setting hormone traps for the adult moths.
“well-organised creepy-crawlies, called procession caterpillars because of their habit of marching in lines.”
And if that isn’t bad enought, their little red coats make them easy to sight.
“Gl0bal Warming and Bush to blame, no doubt.....”
Didn’t you get the memo? Since it was determined that everything really IS Bush’s fault, the new meme is, “It’s the illegal immigrants’ fault.”
Where’s Greenpeace on this or the Greens party?
You would think they would support the little guys eh? Birds of a feather and all that.