Monday, 9 May 2011

They came from the bins...or not

Last week, Richard Littlejohn wrote:

Residents of a street in Exeter have been told to keep their windows closed because of a plague of toxic caterpillars infesting the area. Meanwhile, as a result of the recent spate of Bank Holidays, some dustbins in Exeter haven't been emptied for nearly three weeks. I wonder: could these stories be related?

Of course, you might think a highly-paid newspaper columnist would try and find out, rather than just 'wonder'. Yet this is someone who isn't known for his exhaustive research, but is known for droning on about bins.

So, are these stories related? Exeter's Express & Echo newspaper reports:

A plague of toxic caterpillars has forced residents of one Exeter street to stay indoors despite the sunshine...

The insects are covered in small hairs which can break off easily in a light breeze and cause an allergic reaction, rashes and, in severe cases, asthma attacks.

But are they coming from the bins?

The caterpillars are understood to be coming from a disused railway embankment owned by Network Rail...

The Brown-tail moth caterpillars are a non-native species that don't have any predators. They have built hundreds of web-like tents on a disused railway bank and in trees in the Ashwood Road allotments...

The council said it inspected the allotments in March because of previous infestation, but there weren't any tents around at the time. He said the creatures has [sic] emerged early this year because of the warm weather.

'Could these stories be related'?



  1. The bit about the bins not being collected for three weeks is not true anyway. The council have been praised for the extra collections they laid on over the bank holiday bonanza, meaning the vast majority of bin collections weren't even delayed - let alone failing to happen at all.
    David - Exeter

  2. Clearly the only connection with Caterpillars and rubbish is that they are the subject of a Littlejohn column.

  3. Ha! Brilliant. Droning on about bins is Littlejohns job description.
    Can I urge you to read this months issue of Viz magazine if only for the excellent Littlejohn column parody by "Richard Littlecock (Small Cock, Big Opinions)."

  4. The caterpillars are not only toxic, but they are indeed non-native to the area.

    This, ladies and gentlemen is the true reason behind this rant, he has moved on from bins and is now angry at immigrant wildlife.

  5. Anyone who was f***ing stupid enough to think that caterpillars breed in bins and feed off household refuse would have to be an absolute witless toss-pot of the first order - oh, sorry, it was Littlejohn. Now I see how the confusion arose.

  6. Put two caterpillars in a bin and they WILL a. breed and b. feed. So, a non-factual rant that's complaining about a non-factual rant? Genius.

  7. littlejohn appears to not know the difference between catapilliers and maggots.

  8. Caterpillars don't breed. Only the adult form (butterfly or moth) can do that. Basic biology

  9. Tabloid journalists are obsessed with the cleanliness of people's bins in case digging through the bins of celebs for scoops causes a health and safety issue.


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