Pine Processionary Caterpillars in Algarve

There are so many great reasons to holiday or live in the Algarve – a big one for some people is that you don’t have to worry too much about things that creep, crawl or slither. However before you become too blasé , we need to remind you about the pine processionary caterpillar.

These small and seemingly inoffensive creatures can become a real nuisance and have serious impact on your family’s and pet’s health. Their tiny barbed hairs, which are their defense mechanism,  can cause skin irritations or even anaphylactic shock. Happily, there is a solution to the problem. Hammers n Blades garden services have a biological solution that when sprayed on pine trees prevents the nests from forming and the subsequent procession of caterpillars.

During the summer the moths  are drawn to pine trees where they lay thousands of eggs. During the winter months, and now caterpillars, these little guys gorge on pine needles, shed their skins and double their size. They gather in communal nests that look like white candyfloss decorating the trees. Being clever creatures, their nests are invariably positioned to get the most sunshine (perfectly normal visitor behaviour in the Algarve).

It is when they decide to leave the nest, normally around January to April,  that these pine processionary caterpillars become a nuisance. They form long lines, nose to tail, of shuffling caterpillars as they head off on the next stage of their life journey. You can find them near pine trees of course, but also crossing pavements, on walls – anywhere there are pine trees nearby.

Curious creatures that they are, children and pets are most likely to come into inadvertent contact with the caterpillars. Those little barbed hairs are constantly shed by the caterpillars and can sometimes even be found in the air surrounding a heavily infected tree. The barbs can pierce the skin and cause irritation, rashes and itchiness that can last for several weeks. In some cases the hairs and barbs are ingested which can have much more serious consequences. Medical assistance is advised whenever there has been contact.


By spraying the pine trees on your Algarve property in September or October you can cut out the risk to your family and pets from these small but decidedly pesky creatures.