Remember those summer days carrying around a plastic container with a lid so you could go off in search of caterpillars that you'd collect to see if they'd turn into beautiful butterflies? I do. I was always in search of those scientific experiments, whether it be ants, creepy crawlies, or catepillars. My mom never threw away plastic containers knowing they'd come in use for "something". There have been many a day when my boys come asking me for a container for spiders they've found, or worms, or beetles. And I've always happily obliged, emptying out my cupboard of yet another lidded container. But, my boys cannot collect caterpillars and watch them grow into beautiful butterflies. Caterpillars are dangerous, and I remember the first time I was out walking with Erwin and went to collect one and show the boys, how he reprimanded me for even thinking to pick one up. Huh? It's just a caterpillar, I thought. However, I have since learned about caterpillars in this part of the world, and I now know that they aren't something to be played with. At this moment in time, Limburg has inducted 24 military personnel to help aid in the depletion of the dangerous processierups (procession caterpillar?). There is such an outbreak that people are getting sick and I can't tell you how many complaints I've heard from people naming these caterpillars as the villains. What is the processierups? Well, it's a caterpillar that has long hairs that contain some type of acid which, carried through the wind, comes in contact with the skin, and causes swelling, itching, red eyes, and rashes. The hairs actually burn the skin, and while not everyone is susceptible to their dangers, I have recently come under their attack. Ouch! I keep scratching away, but can't seem to relieve myself of the processierups hairs. You can't see them, but wow, can you feel them!!!
So, I hope the firemen, airplanes flying with poisons, military personnel, and helicopters all conquer this little creature. As cute and memorable as my caterpillar days are, I wouldn't mind never seeing another.