Browntail Caterpillars Now!
tips from State of Maine Entomologists
AUGUSTA- Entomologists from the Maine Department of
Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry say now is the time to eradicate browntail
caterpillars in trees that are accessible. Browntail caterpillars cause a rash
like poison ivy and they are spreading across more and more of Maine. Contact with caterpillar hairs can cause severe reactions
for some individuals.
The caterpillars spend the winter webbed in
silken-wrapped leaves on the tips of branches of oak and apple trees. NOW is
the time to look for the bright white silk tying a few leaves to the TIPS of
your apple, crab apple, plum and oak tree branches. If you see a web CLIP IT
OUT and destroy the web by dropping it in a bucket of soapy water, do not just
leave it on the ground.
These caterpillar webs can be found regularly from the
New Hampshire border to Waldoboro, and inland to Turner and Waterville. They are
worst along the coast from Falmouth to Bristol. The moths have been seen all
the way to Kingfield, Millinocket and Topsfield on the New Brunswick border.
video showing how to clip the webs and a list of arborists who could prune webs
can be found at:
Contact the Maine Forest Service (207) 287-2431 or your local University of
Maine Cooperative Extension Office.