The Belgian army has declared war against ... hairy caterpillar! Here's the story:
A mini-platoon of soldiers will be deployed to the Belgian forests to tackle a plague of hairy caterpillars that are causing allergy outbreaks in humans.
Procession caterpillars, so-called for the way they march in lines through forests, are covered in long, toxic hairs which cause dermatitis and respiratory problems and account for up to 80 percent of doctor visits in the affected area.
"A bit less than a platoon, about 24 soldiers and airmen, will be deployed to help the fire brigade and civil protection authority combat the caterpillars," Belgian military spokeswoman Ingrid Baeck said yesterday.