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Helpful Advice About Browntail Moth Caterpillars

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We remember what problems they caused last year. Don’t be caught off guard. The Maine Forest Service asks everyone to check cars, trucks, boats, bikes, ATVs, and other vehicles for wandering browntail moth caterpillars.

Now through late June, browntail moth caterpillars become expert hitchhikers. When they catch a ride, they may set up house in a new area and cause irritation to people and destroy foliage on trees and shrubs at their new location.

If a browntail moth caterpillar is discovered before leaving an already infested area, it may be left on-site or destroyed. If found after leaving the infested area, the caterpillar should be eliminated. The best method to kill a browntail moth caterpillar is to move them to a plastic bag or another container, freeze them or soak them in a bucket of soapy water before disposing of them in the trash.

Reduce the chances of picking up browntail by avoiding parking and storing materials and equipment near infested trees.

Maine is experiencing a browntail moth caterpillar outbreak. The caterpillars are found in patches along the Maine coast and more than 60 miles inland from the western Maine border to the New Brunswick border, with the greatest concentrations in mid-coastal Maine and the capital region.

Learn more about the browntail moth caterpillar, be aware, and skip the itch!

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