top of page

Deadly caterpillars on Portuguese golf courses

Deadly caterpillars on Portuguese golf courses - portugal news
Deadly caterpillars on Portuguese golf courses - Portugal Business News


Portugal news - Deadly caterpillars on Portuguese golf courses are killing dogs and giving people heart attacks. Hairy processionary caterpillars on golf courses are killing dogs and giving people heart attacks according to a new report by Sky News.


Journalist Gordon Smart went on a golf trip to Portugal with Hollywood star Jamie Dornan, and both received emergency treatment following an encounter with a toxic caterpillar on a golf course in Portugal. Following the encounter, they both felt tingling in one arm and their heart rate was at 210 beats per minute, that is above the normal 60 to 100 beats per minute. Journalist Gordon Smart and his friend collapsed and were sent to a hospital, and when he awoke in a hospital bed, the doctor asked him what he did to himself. His first thoughts were that he had caffeine poisoning after drinking six espresso martinis on top of the other alcohol they had consumed. After they were both discharged from hospital, actor Jamie Dornan felt numbness in his limbs.


A week after the event, the doctor called journalist Gordon Smart and asked him if he had an encounter with caterpillars on the golf course, since there are processionary caterpillars on golf courses in the south of Portugal that have been killing people's dogs and giving men in their 40s heart attacks. He confirmed that this was the case and that he was lucky he came out alive.


Processionary caterpillars are covered in hairs and move in groups to find and consume leaves, according to the Natural History Museum website. Their defense mechanism is boosted by their covering of fine hairs, known as setae, that contain a toxic protein known as thaumetopoein which can cause rashes, irritation and breathing difficulties in humans and animals.  

Processionary caterpillars descend from pine trees between January and April and form processions. The orange stinging hairs are shed while the caterpillar moves and these come into contact with the skin and mucous membranes, causing allergic reactions in people and animals. Inhalation of the hairs may trigger coughing and breathing difficulties that persist for hours or days.

What to do if you encounter processionary caterpillars?         

If you have an encounter with processionary caterpillars, you should immediately have a shower and rinse your eyes, wash your clothes, and apply a moisturizer. You should also take an oral antihistamine. However, if the symptoms are severe, you should seek emergency medical attention by calling 112.



Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
bottom of page