Caterpillars overtake Australian town

Dec. 9, 2008 at 7:37 PM

YANDARAN , Australia, Dec. 9 (UPI) -- Residents of a central Australian town say millions of caterpillars have invaded their homes and yards, plaguing them the past 18 months.

Yandaran residents said the black processionary -- a description of the way they travel -- caterpillars are everywhere in the town and can cause skin irritations, The Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported Tuesday.

"Rashes, dermatitis to people who suffer from severe allergies and going into anaphylactic shock," resident Karon Carr said of the health problems caused by the pests.

Locals said a meeting involving an entomologist was in the works to discuss ideas for getting rid of the caterpillars.

"If nothing is done to try to put a halt to these caterpillars, the detrimental effect to the environment, people's health (and) businesses is only going to continue to get worse," Carr said.

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