This European winter has been exceptionally mild so far and there are no indications that this will change soon. And that is to the advantage of the oak processionary caterpillar. A mild winter ensures a greater chance of survival of the eggs of the oak procession butterfly, explains director Bastiaan Meerburg of the Knowledge and Advice Center for Animal Pests (KAD).
“Normally the eggs hatch in April. If the weather stays so mild, that could happen in March. Whether there will be more caterpillars is difficult to predict. However, the peak that last year will be 15 June, push forward a month “, Meerburg says.
The animal pest expert still holds the necessary blows, because although a frost period is not in the offing, according to meteorologists, for example, a cold period may still arrive in February.
“You don’t know what the winter will do,” he says.
Nevertheless, according to him, this is “the moment” when municipalities have to make a plan about how they will tackle the oak processionary caterpillar this year. ”
Last year some municipalities were completely surprised, that is now no longer possible. They must have thought that now.”