Is Mother Nature Helping Maine With Its Browntail Moth Problem?
The Maine Department of Agriculture Conservation & Forestry put out recent information about the destruction to trees in areas of Maine due to the Browntail Moth activity we've seen recently but, they are also seeing signs of population decrease.
History of Browntail Moth In Maine
The Browntail Moth has been an invasive species in Maine for over a century. Not much impact was seen with decades of population growth and decrease over the years. But, things changed in the early 2000s and now the presence of this insect is well known and making life quite uncomfortable for a lot of Mainers.
Its recent upswing in population in coastal towns in recent years has caused quite a stir for those living along the coast and now affecting areas more inland, especially up the Penobscot River.
The caterpillar form of the insect produces poisonous hairs that get trapped in their nests and can become airborne. When these poisonous hairs come into contact with humans it can cause rash and itching similar to poison ivy and if breathed in can cause respiratory problems.
In a recent newsletter sent out by the Maine Department of Agriculture Conservation & Forestry, it is being observed that some webs are showing fewer signs of activity by the insect.
One explanation that the department is proposing is that there could be a pathogen present in the population. Investigations are underway to see if this is the case and if so, it seems as though Mother Nature is taking a little mercy on us and helping to curb this natural borne problem that may have a natural borne solution.
Check out tips from the Maine Department of Agriculture Conservation & Forestry on how to reduce the impact of the Browntail Moth in your neighborhood with tips on what you can do now to reduce their population where you live, including web removal and destruction options.