Poisonous caterpillars return to New Addington
A PLAGUE of poisonous caterpillars has returned to New Addington.
Croydon Council has warned residents to be cautious of the creepy-crawlies and to "bag and burn" any infected branches wherever possible.
A year ago the Advertiser reported that the toxic larvae had caused health problems on the estate, with a 12 per cent rise in doctor call-outs over the Easter period.
This week Brian Lurkins, of King Henry's Drive, said the problem was starting to "spiral out of control".
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
Father-of-five Mr Lurkins, 33, said: "We got in touch when we first spotted them, and the council came out and sprayed them.
"But it hasn't worked – in fact, it has made it worse. It is like they are multiplying all over the place. It is like they are taking over.
"They're just everywhere. Everyone I have spoken to down my road has said it is a big problem. They are in the front garden, the back garden, in trees, shrubs, and even making their way into houses.
"My neighbour has been bitten – he had bruising and blistering – and I am worried in case one bites one of my children.
"When I walk my children to school we have to be on the lookout for them because they are everywhere. My son Ben is eight and has breathing difficulties and a weak immune system. It makes you worry."
The problem has not gone away with the arrival of warm weather.
Mr Lurkins said: "They don't seem to like it when it is really hot or when it is raining, but when it cools a bit they come straight back again and crawl up everywhere they can get.
"I have read up about them a bit and you are meant to round them up and burn them. The council sprayed them, but it hasn't worked. I have asked the council to cut back the trees but we are getting no luck."
A Croydon Council spokesman said: "We always recommend that anyone who has a problem with these destructive and irritating caterpillars follows the simple advice that is freely and easily available on the internet and elsewhere.
"Either call in a reputable commercial pest control service or you can deal with the problem yourself – being careful to treat the caterpillars cautiously and avoid skin contact. Go to a good garden centre to get a suitable spray or alternatively carefully cut them off the branches they are on, bag them up and either burn them or bin them."