Is this dangerous?

erm…47 is really close to 46. You’ve got me worried again Sue!

Doesn’t look like either a pine or oak processionally. I know these ones because of watching out for the dog.

Oak has longer paler hairs out the side, and pine has a brown red blob on each segment. So probably an Oak Eggar which is harmless, and turns i to a pretty quite large creamy brown moth. It’s a bit late, as normally caterpillars have turned into moths by now, but a cold year I guess.

Some of the most spectacularly scary caterpillar are also harmless and produce truly stunning moths, so do think before you squish. But Oak and Pine Processionally ones are fair game!

In the autumn look at your pine trees from a distance, and if you have them you will see quite big cotton wool type nests high up at the tips of branches. If too high to get to to cut off and burn you can get traps that you put round the trunk of the tree and full with water, and they process happily into it and drown.

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Thanks Jane I will diarize to venture towards the pine-smelling trees (but not under them) in early November? and try to see.

It would be nice if snails would eat them because have always had snails here. Including big ones.

You can also encourage birds as some species will eat hairy caterpillars: four large migrant specialists (great spotted cuckoo Clamator glandarius, common cuckoo Cuculus canorus, European nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus and Eurasian hoopoe Upupa epops) and three small sedentary generalists (great tit Parus major, crested tit Lophophanes cristatus and coal tit Periparus ater).

We were in Salernes a year or so back and really charmed by the local potters who were freely making nests for tits and putting them up all over the place to help control the pesky things. Apparently a tit feeding young can get through hundreds a day!


Ta Jane. Perhaps that’s why I hear a cuckoo seasonally each year - plenty of food (OH and I never used poison.)

I know nothing about birds but will file this to think about any opportunities to encourage anything that eats scary stuff.

Caterpillars in NZ were never scary like these.

…gum leaf caterpillar is just as scary!

Nor do you have crocs, dingos, red belly black snakes, funnel web spiders etc etc etc :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

That is why you won’t catch me in Oz (well, maybe in Melbourne city next time). Too many stories of carpet snakes on top of wardrobes, bad-tempered attacking snakes in gardens, etc. I’m shivering even just thinking about it

We all had a pet caterpillar with a leaf in a jar.

By default the Pocophone F1 has that stupid option, but you can turn it off !

We went to visit some friends on a small farm they’d bought (from the grandmother of one of the Wiggles!) and they’d just installed a pool. Apparently it was a nightmare - they regularly found up to a dozen huge Brown snakes in the pool in the worst of the drought. Horrific. You have about 30 minutes to get to the hospital (they lived 40 minutes out of town!).

Done. Took less than 10 seconds, once I knew from @anon88169868 it was there.

Aargh. Cringe.

Hello, I can confirm it is not PPC, what it is I’ll leave to the etymologists within!

Just a note, the external hairs of the Pine (and oak) Processionary Caterpillars are not toxic. If you note they have black stripes. These are pouches of toxic hairs which they eject when disturbed.

Leaving them in the tree will only hurt the tree, when they are at child or dog level they cause a problem because they are picked up and played with.

With regard to Pest Control, treating the cocoone with chemically is deemed plant protection and have a seperate diploma.

Ground level they can be treated with chemicals but there is a risk of polluting the environment, which is why non chemical treatment using pheromone traps (now is the best time to install traps) or écopièges (PPC only) between end of January to end of May.

PM me if you more info regarding pheromone traps !



It’s the caterpillar of the Oak Eggar moth Lasiocampa quercus. Perfectly harmless. Huge beautiful moths. Shame you killed it. Lasiocampa quercus - Wikipedia


Without at leastone companion it is NOT a precesionary. Some hairy caterpilars do shed hairs so dont handle it, but otherwise leave it alone. Many butterflies have hairy caterpillars, and we know how they are doing!