Rise of the city of larvae: Hairy, seemingly indestructible caterpillars swarm Depok

A brown tail larva (illustration).

Residents of the Curug sub-district in Cimanggis, Depok, have been reporting a creepy crawly invasion for the past four days.
Thousands of the hairy caterpillars have reportedly been emerging out from residents’ backyards in the afternoons and evenings.
Curiously, these caterpillars are seemingly indestructible.
“We’ve tried to spray them with all kinds of insecticides, but they haven’t gone away. They’d reappear at night in greater numbers. We have no clue what to use [against them], we’ve even tried burning them,” local man Sudardjo told Okezone yesterday.
We know that some hairy caterpillars should not be touched for they may be toxic, but it appears the Depok invaders are harmless.
“No residents have been taken to the clinic for itching complaints or anything. We can even touch [the caterpillars],” said another local man, Sardjono, as quoted by Okezone.

Even if they’re harmless, these caterpillars can eat up all the area’s plants if they’re ignored. Hopefully, the local government can do something about the invasion before they multiply in numbers and spread elsewhere.

Better yet, perhaps they will all transform into pretty butterflies  – that wouldn’t be such a bad invasion after all. Unless they’re moth larvae, that is.

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