Organisation - June 30, 2015

Oak processionary caterpillar on campus

Roelof Kleis

The oak processionary caterpillar is active on campus. A couple of trees, amongst others along the Stippeneng at the Restaurant of the Future, house nests. These will be destroyed this week.

The nests were discovered last week. According to Pieter Goedhart of the Facility Management the animals have been signalled in a limited number of trees. The nests will be burned by a specialised company this week. That should be sufficient. ‘But we remain vigilant.’

The oak processionary caterpillar is also keeping Arnold van Vliet (chair Environmental System Analysis) busy. He is involved with the oak processionary station, a knowledge institute for the caterpillar in Dieverburg. ‘I just spoke to Omroep Gelderland and Metro. Today I placed an update of the situation on

The past few weeks a lot of nests are formed in many places, according to Van Vliet. He expects that the tropical temperatures in the coming week will worsen the situation. The caterpillars can sustain a maximum of thirty degrees. Due to the high temperatures they will sit lower in the tree, which increases the chance of contact with stinging hairs.  

To flee the heat the caterpillars can even leave the tree and find shelter in the soil. Then they are even harder to fight, says Van Vliet. He does not recommend burning of the caterpillar nests. ‘You are actively participating at spreading the stinging hears, that can cause nuisance in the area for years. The knowledge centre advises (preventive) spraying or (reactive) aspiration.