Disturbing Worm Infestation in UCH and UI Environs

A number of people, especially residents of Engelbert Beyer Center, popularly referred to as the Catholic Hostel, have reported a disturbing number of worm-like creatures that are encountered in that area, through the short cuts from College building and along the main road as well. There have also been reports of the same invasion on UI campus of a more aggressive nature to the extent that it has rendered the go-to relaxation spot, Heritage Park and even the Awo Stadium, a no-go area.

It is unclear what exactly this creature is- a worm or an insect but from investigations, it is most likely a larval stage of a moth of either the Spodoptera genus, the lily caterpillar also known as ‘African army worm’ or the ‘inchworm’ or ‘cankerworm’ of the Geometridae family due to the large-scale invasive behavior of the species. It is regarded as a pest and can damage and destroy a wide variety of crops, which causes large scale economic damage. They are so far harmless as hairless or spineless caterpillars are most likely free from poison but they will eventually turn to moths which could then lead to a moth infestation.

Photo gotten along road to Engelbert Beyer Center

The invertebrate has been reported to usually fall from trees on unsuspecting passersby as they are attached to the trees by spiderweb-like threads. This is how they usually attach to people.

Students are therefore advised to avoid any tree or grass dense areas, walking under trees, Heritage Park environs, the sitting area opposite Bello Hall, Alumni road leading to Amina road UI, and taking the short bush paths when headed towards the UCH Catholic Church.

Osaretin Vanessa Ehiorobo

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