Saving the pine trees, one caterpillar at a time!

Saving the pine trees, one caterpillar at a time!

There are many people who say they ‘care about the environment’ but not many people who are actually prepared to go outside and actually do something about it.

Here at the Freedom Farm we believe in direct action to try and fight climate change.

Every year in early spring we begin to see the nests of Processionary Pine Caterpillars. These caterpillars who eventually become moths are spreading into Norther Spain and France from the south, killing off coniferous forests with alarming speed. Global Warming is the reason why these previously southern pests are colonizing larger areas.

The Freedom Farm is surrounded by gorgeous natural pine forests that factored heavily into our motivation to move here. We really love them and we want to help them survive.

How to safely destroy Processionary Pine Caterpillar Nests.

1. Safety First

These nasty caterpillars have the potential to cause painful rashes and even breathing problems in humans and in dogs who unknowingly run into them when playing in the forest. This is because they are covered in noxious hairs that they can shoot in the direction of threats. Goggles, a mask, long sleeves and gloves are necessary for your safety.

2. Bring your hairspray.

Spray the nest all over with hairspray. This minimises the likelihood that any of the hairs will be released in your direction.

3. Work as a team.

The next step is to take a plastic trash bag and place it over the branch with the nest on it. Tie it securely with string and cut off the branch. It’s better to work as a team because it can be tricky getting the bag on and secured with only two hands.

4. Burn.

Carefully burn each nest. Stand well back, just in case any of those nasty hairs escapes the flames.

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