Browntail Moth Update from Maine Forest Service
The Maine Forest Service (MFS) FHM reports that caterpillars have begun to pupate at all monitoring sites from north of Belfast south to Portland and west to Turner. As a reminder the silky cocoons surrounding the pupae contain the last cast skin of the caterpillar and are full of toxic hairs. Many people become exposed to the hairs through encounters with the cocoons as they can pupate on buildings and vehicles/ trailers as well as host tree foliage. People in areas with browntail moth populations should take precautions to minimize exposure to the caterpillars’ hairs: https://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/infectious-disease/epi/vector-borne/browntail-moth/browntail-moth-faq.shtml#toxic_hair\
Some good news to share however is that the MFS has confirmed small outbreaks of the fungus (Entomophaga aulicae) that attacks BTM caterpillars in Washington (Knox County) and Montville and Liberty (Waldo County).