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Posted on: March 22, 2019

Browntail Moths in the City

City of Belfast

It's been brought to the City's attention by the Maine Forest Service that there are several locations and trees in and around Belfast with Browntail Moths.

Browntail Moth is an invasive insect in Maine. Its caterpillars have hairs that can cause a very unpleasant rash that can last for days. Some people have a respiratory reaction. These hairs can persist in the environment for up to 3 years. The winter webs are small, and can be found on the tips of branches of apple, crabapple, pear, as well as oak and birch trees. They appear a small bundle of leaves, held to the twig by a tick band of silk.

The best and most feasible control is to prune out webs, before the tiny caterpillars emerge (by early to mid April). The webs should be destroyed by burning or soaking overnight in soapy water. For more information, presentations and other resources on Browntail Moth management visit the Maine Forest Service website.

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