Processional caterpillars and Departmental Health regulations : Article 37

Can anyone tell me if this Article 37 (mentioned in a previous discussion on les chenilles processionnaires ) is France-wide or just a departmental law ?

il est rappelé que l'article 37 du règlement sanitaire départemental précise que «les plantations sont entretenues de manière à ne pas laisser proliférer les insectes et leurs larves, au point qu'ils puissent constituer une gêne ou une cause d'insalubrité. Il doit être procédé, chaque fois qu'il est nécessaire, à une désinsectisation. Nul ne peut s'opposer aux mesures de désinsectisation collectives qui seraient entreprises par l'autorité sanitaire au cas où se manifesterait un envahissement anormal d'un quartier par les insectes et leurs larves». Il est demandé, en conséquence, aux propriétaires de faire le nécessaire pour éviter toute prolifération et notamment de nids de chenilles processionnaires.

Thank you.

Boff, our commune considers anything over 20 a local infestation. That is really justification to have a bit of a 'moan'.

Thank you Brian, for your advice. I will do as you suggest when the nest become visible. At a guess there will be over 50 nests next to us ! I will keep you posted. Thanks again.

Do a count of the clusters, take it to the the mairie and a copy to your district. They have an obligation to remove infestations simply on the basis of damage done to trees.

We have a strip plantation of Scots pines bordering our property. We have lived here for nearly ten years. When we first purchased the property we enquired of the owner if he was interested in selling the strip of land. As a member of the chasse he said ‘NO’ as he wanted to retain it as access. We asked again a few years later and again he said ‘NO’. A few years later we enquired again and the response was the same. The trees have now not only doubled in size, thus reducing our light, but more importantly, continue to be homes for very many numerous processional caterpillar nests. This year the caterpillars were out and about almost every other day in the spring and I became more than very anxious for our dog.
We have had the land valued and will consider offering double its agricultural value ( and pay the extra fees to the notaire and the geometre) but think he will still refuse to sell. Therefore, we would like to have a back-up option and hence the need for the Article 37 clarity. although we do not wish to go this far and upset our neighbour. A very difficult situation. Any advice or experience of similar problems would be gratefully received. Thank you.

What is your principal concern Christina? It seems clear that the responsability for destroying these pests rests withe proprietaire.Are you finding yourself surrounded by non compliant landlords or what.If the caterpillar nests are on territory of the commune then it is up to the commune to deal with it.

Yes, the same. We also have an action plan in this commune, there being lots of forest and pinus sylvestris (Scots pine) that dear old Boney introduced for cheap building wood is badly infected. However, the processionary caterpillars infect oaks, hornbeam, sweet chestnut and other trees I forget. Do not let anybody convince you it is pine only, they may well mainly infest pine but they are also most noticeable against the dark green needles. They are less visible in heavy deciduous woodland. I know because I have taken part in clearing them last year.

Recording of infestations by a rough count of how many nests are visible, the exact location and whether they are only on pines but whether also on oaks is the starting point. That is what I was doing with hunt members in the forest. If the infestation is serious aerial spraying of bacillus thuringienses something or other (btk) is done in early spring. It gets about 60% of the caterpillars. They are starting to use nematodes in some places. They are the most numerous multicellular animals in the world. A random handful of soil contains several thousand of the microscopic worms. Anyway, they infest and kill off dormant caterpillars by eating them. Otherwise, and what was mainly done here, was putting a large, thick paper bag over each cluster, binding it closed tight, cutting the branch then careful removing it to the ground. It requires an overall that is totally closed, very heavy work gloves, head covering with something like a visor of the kind used cutting wood or strimming. When they get to ground level, they are then put into a second bag which is taken to a place where a fire has been prepared and then burned. I was at ground level doing that last task a couple of times. We moved about 400 clusters but there were plenty more.

Thank you David, I am trying to find the correct document for the Dordogne. I will keep you posted later with the details of our concerns if using the document becomes necessary. Did you find a link for the Dordogne ?

I guess It's a nation wide model. Same wording in the Lot et Garonne Règlement Sanitaire Départmentale as in Dordogne..