Invasion of Spanish butterflies.jpg

Invasion of Spanish butterflies

AS IF mosquitoes weren’t enough, another pest has arrived in Portugal recently. However, it is in the form of the usually harmless butterfly.

The Gamma Moth species has been causing discomfort among the Portuguese population, because they cause allergic reactions to the skin and respiratory system. The current atmospheric conditions are favourable to the appearance of insects, whose increase in numbers has been accelerated due to the heat.

The clouds of brown butterflies have been disturbing the Portuguese for the last few days and complaints have been coming from all over the country, mainly from the cities of Porto, Aveiro, Viseu, Leiria and Évora. Lisbon has been most affected by the brown-coloured butterflies, whose origin is not entirely known.

It is likely that the moths, scientifically named Autographa gamma, are coming over from Spain, which has recently been plagued by millions of insects, especially the regions of Madrid and Cáceres.

According to Dr. Mário Jorge, the president of the Portuguese Association of Public Health Doctors, it is the insects’ excrements that provoke the allergies.