The situation with this entomological enigma came to rise when Candika, my wife, rang me last week and told me of the massive infestation of these caterpillars in Java. Having already swept through Sumatra and Java, the swarms of caterpillars are now in Bali and posing a threat to farmers’ crops and vegetation in general.
Although the tourist areas of Bali have yet to be invaded by these hungry beasties, it will happen and especially in hotels where lush flora is prominent. I guess that means a majority of 5 star hotels and other smaller places. The main concern for tourists is the skin rash that occurs if you touch these pretty and harmless-looking creatures. So keep an eye on your kids as they are the most curious of all.
The Agricultural department in Bali has the situation of these beasties in hand, so to speak, and continuous spraying of insecticide is keeping them at-bay. The dark, wriggly insects were first sighted in a village on Friday.