When hiking in the countryside of South Limburg near the Dutch city of Maastricht, I stumbled upon this sign on the side of the path:
The sign reads:
Oak processionary caterpillar
To prevent health troubles we advise you to observe the following ‘code of conduct’:
– Don’t go standing under an oak tree or sitting in the grass under it.
– Avoid touching the caterpillars, the nests and the tree trunk.
– Avoid eyes contacting the urticating hairs.
– Provide good cover of the neck, arms and legs.
– Look for treatment of discomforts in case of skin or eye contact on www.valkenburg.nl or ask your doctor.
(Municipality of Valkenburg aan de Geul)”
The suggestions on this sign are certainly reasonable. The problem is: The sign is placed underneath an oak tree!
Have you ever seen similar well-intentioned but perhaps dangerous warning signs?
How could we provide better warning against the health risks of the caterpillar?