Bangor Hatches A Plan To Deal With Browntail Moth Caterpillars
Personally, I've had the BTM caterpillar rash at least three times this year. Maybe even a fourth. It's absolutely unruly. If you've had it before, then you know just how miserable it is. The itching is relentless. And while there are plenty of folk remedies for getting rid of the itch, it never leaves your mind. Every time you itch after, you'll wonder if it's from the caterpillars.
If you go online, you'll see people complaining about it pretty regularly. Either that they've got it, someone in the family has it, or they're finally just getting over it. This year seems to have been worse than recent years. and the city of Bangor has definitely taken note of the major uptick in complaints.
According to WABI, the city will begin taking steps to do something about starting this fall. their plan is to try and develop a map of infestations around the city, and then in November, they'll begin clipping infested branches in those areas. Then they will take those branches and safely dispose of them.
By doing this, the hope is that less caterpillars will mean less rash next year. Right now, they're trying to figure out where the hot spots are, so they can take the necessary actions. and though the public is definitely a resource for locations, it's not really a perfect system for tracking.
Aaron Huotari from Bangor Public Works said this about to WABI:
We’re going to use that map to identify where we need to be going to respond to these, as well as just trying to determine how big the problem is, we really don’t have a good handle on it right now. Phone calls are hard to quantify really how bad the issue is.
Boy, it would be nice if this actually works. You can do some of this on your own property, but you should really be careful about how you dispose of the nests. Burning them is the biggest no-no, as it simply causes the irritating hairs to become airborne. The safest and most proper method is to drown them in water.
I imagine lots of towns around the state will watch this new program and see how it goes. It'd be nice to have a new practical approach to getting rid of one of the biggest summer ruiners around. If it works, undoubtedly, Bangor will look heroic. If it doesn't, I guess we'll just keep scratching til we bleed some more. Time will tell....