The population of harmful pine processionary moth caterpillars, native to the Mediterranean region, is on the rise due to climate change-related global warming, according to experts.
They feed on the needles of pine trees and pose a threat to human health, experts say.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Bora Kaydan, a Turkish expert on insects at Cukurova University in southern Turkey, said these species could damage the calabrian pine trees in the Mediterranean region.
“The reason why they are being spotted so frequently in Istanbul is global climate change … One of the important effects of global warming is the migration of insects,” said Kaydan, adding that they moved from the South to the North.
Also speaking to Anadolu Agency on possible dangers that these species pose to human health, Bulent Tutluoglu, an expert on chest diseases, warned about serious allergic reactions.
“It can cause skin rash, common skin allergy. Normally, all insect species have the potential to create severe throat congestion as well as problems related to the airway, or respiratory tract,” he added.
Tutlugolu further said people may experience allergic reactions that could be fatal.