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What to do if you have complaints

In the event of contact with the stinging hairs:

  • Remove clothing that contains the stinging hairs.
  • Strip the skin with adhesive tape (stick it on the skin, then peel it off).
  • Rinse the affected skin or eyes well with lukewarm water.
  • Do not scratch or rub!
  • In the event of severe itching, an ointment or cream containing menthol, aloe vera or calendula can provide relief. You can buy this without a prescription at the drugstore or pharmacy.

The symptoms usually disappear within a few days to two weeks.

When to contact a doctor?

The stinging hairs of the caterpillar can spread with the wind. If such a hair gets in your eye, it can cause very serious complaints. You can then get an ocular inflammatory reaction that may lead to blindness (ophthalmia nodosa).

  • If you get eye complaints after close proximity to oak processionary caterpillars, you should see an eye specialist immediately.

Sometimes contact with an oak processionary caterpillar can cause a serious allergic reaction.

  • Call your GP or central doctor’s office immediately if, after contact with the caterpillar, you experience difficulty breathing or swelling of the eyelids, lips or tongue.

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