Feeds

Belgian army faces hairy caterpillar horde

Blowtorch weapon versus lepidoptera menace

The next step in data security

Belgian soldiers are to be deployed in the country's forests to combat the menace of hairy caterpillars, Reuters reports.

The procession caterpillars - so named because of their habit of marching in convoy - boast long toxic hairs which provoke dermatitis and respiratory problems in humans and account for around 80 per cent of doctor visits in their operational zone in the eastern province of Limburg.

Accordingly, the authorities have ordered in the troops. Belgian military spokeswoman Ingrid Baeck said yesterday: "A bit less than a platoon, about 24 soldiers and airmen, will be deployed to help the fire brigade and civil protection authority combat the caterpillars."

Following the failure of previous weapons, including helicopter-sprayed pesticide, the grunts in the frontline will assault the insects with "super-size blowtorches" during a six-week campaign.

Baeck explained: "In teams of two people, they will go through the forests and burn the little animals off the trees. There have not been enough people to do this and I think we can make the difference." ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
PORTAL TO ELSEWHERE scried in small galaxy far, far away
Supermassive black hole dominates titchy star formation
Bacon-related medical breakthrough wins Ig Nobel prize
Is there ANYTHING cured pork can't do?
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
Archaeologists and robots on hunt for more Antikythera pieces
How much of the world's oldest computer can they find?
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.