THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Residents of Konathukulangara near Vattiyoorkavu here are a worried lot with the ‘Eastern tent caterpillar’ aka ‘Aatampuzhu’ giving them sleepless nights. The area is swarming with these caterpillars, which frequently falls down from the trees from a nearby farm causing health and civic problems.
Though the area is prone to caterpillars for the last 2 years, the menace has increased after the summer showers. And the people residing in the area are worried that the problem would accentuate with the coming of the monsoon.
‘’We are fed up with these worms. Earlier we could somehow adjust to it but now it has become a real problem,’’ said Thankamma, a resident of Konathukulamgara.
Worms are found hanging from tree branches as well the roofs of the houses.
The caterpillars are also found on narrow lanes.
‘’The worms enter our house,’’ said Manjula Mohanan, another resident. ‘’We can’t even take food properly due to these worms falling into the food from the roof,’’ she added.
Though several complaints had been submitted to the authorities, no remedial steps have been taken till now, they said.
When contacted, ward councillor and Deputy Mayor Happy Kumar said that owners of the farm had not taken the issue seriously, even though he had approached them regarding this issue.
“Though health inspectors had noted this is a health issue they have not taken any steps to find a solution,’’ he said.
The worms commonly known as ‘Aatampuzhu’ causes itches if it comes into contact with the body.
There are allegations that the authorities are not taking any steps due to political influence.