I´m sure most of you will know how dangerous the processionary caterpillar can be. It kills our pine trees and is extremely dangerous to our pets and children, particularly, because of its intensely irritating and stinging hairs.
It is found in the warmer regions of Southern Europe, the Near East and North Africa; it is one of the most destructive of our forest insects capable of defoliating vast tracts of pine forests.
Interestingly, it is also one of the most social of caterpillars and therein lies the problem. The female moth will lay a single egg mass, containing 300 eggs or so, fastened to a needle of the pine. Some month or so later, the eggs hatch. Despite their small size, they have incredibly strong mandibles capable of penetrating the tough pine needles.
The caterpillar is active during the winter months, constructing the typical candyfloss type nests and emerging from them at night to feed, even during really cold weather.
In January/February/March, when their growth pattern has finished and with warmer weather, they leave the nest forming the typical long head-to-toe processions and seek soft soil where they can pupate through the hot summer months. A procession can contain as many as 300 caterpillars.
Control in the past was through aerial spraying but this has largely stopped with Government cutbacks and because it is a hugely destructive process environmentally. Those of you who have had pine trees sprayed by professionals will know that the pressurisation has a very large spray pattern, affecting other plants - and people - detrimentally. It´s not something you would want to inhale!
This, specifically, is why this new product is so exciting because the insecticide is contained within the affected pine so it´s clean, effective and, relatively, environmentally friendly. Please note this is not an organic product but it is 'greener' than many. The treatment only needs to be applied once a year to give protection from the caterpillar and it can be done without expensive equipment or professional help.
It is called YNJECT-mini. The 4-pack contains four pressurised bottles of an activator which is sold together with a specialist systemic insecticide, a modified syringe and plastic connectors. The two are mixed by syringe and must then be used within 72 hours. The pine is drilled, the plastic connector installed and the bottle is connected to this.
Because it is pressurised, the product is released into the pine spreading through the entire tree. After three hours, remove the bottle.
One bottle is sufficient for pines up to 30cm of trunk circumference. Increase the number of bottles for every 30cm increase of trunk circumference up to a maximum of 4 bottles. If using more than one bottle, spread them evenly around the circumference of the trunk.
Easy to apply, it protects your pines, pets and children by killing the caterpillars whilst in the nest so that they don´t come down to ground.
Remember that this is a once-a-year treatment to be applied between mid-October and mid-January, or when you see the nests. Act quickly because it needs to be applied before the caterpillars move down the trunk of the pine.
For more information email us or come and see us and we can explain the process more thoroughly. If you cannot find this product locally (it is new and not yet widely available), you can purchase it on our on-line shop, under Tool & products.
Protect your Pines,
Pets and People from the
Pine Processionary Caterpillar.
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