Sunday, June 5, 2016

The Browntail Moth has arrived! Quick, call the Daleks: "Exterminate! Exterminate!"

Notice the characteristic broken white lines and the two red dots.
Oh my, oh my...the defoliation of many hardwood trees and shrubs is occurring in southern Maine, on up into Midcoast Maine. We visited with massage therapist friends, Darcy and Ray (Riverview Sauna/Spa and Massage) today, and saw the devastation left behind by the dreaded browntail moth caterpillars. Oak trees and an apple tree were completely denuded on their property. Then, on our drive home, I was on the lookout for evidence of the moths in our neck of the woods, and saw it. Aughhh! Then, I remembered that I had kicked aside a caterpillar while gardening, yesterday, and it had the two red dots on its rear. No, tell us it ain't so!
Browntail Moth Female
Browntail Moth Male

Watch this news report, "What To Do About Browntail Moths", and read this outdated article from the Maine Division of Forestry. I say "outdated" because the moth has moved inland (we live 16 miles from the coast) and up into Midcoast Maine. This 2015 Portland Press Herald article is interesting as well.

By the way, Darcy heard that if you get a rash from the barbed caterpillar hairs, you might try putting duck tape on the affected area, and then pull it off after about 10 minutes. This will rip the caterpillar hairs out of your skin and the rash should subside in about 12 hours. Worth a try!

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