Other than a snake in the toilet, this is my worst fear!

The Browntail Moth has been hanging around Maine for years, but it is really making its presence felt this year, yet again.

Browntail moth caterpillars have tiny poisonous hairs that can cause skin reactions similar to poison ivy and other more severe reactions. They can reach 1.5 inches in length and are brown with a broken white stripe on each side and two red/orange spots on the hind end.

The caterpillar stage of the Browntail Moth life creates toxic hairs that cause rashes. And to be frank, it sucks. These annoying creatures are active from mid-April until early October. Added bonus: The hairs remain toxic for up to three years.

Contact with hairs can cause a skin rash that may last a few hours to several days. The rash is usually red, bumpy, and itchy.

A Maine Reddit user named buddymari, posted a spine tingling story about their encounter with this annoying nuisance.

Other reddit folks chimed in with their thoughts:

EccentricSoaper

Also, don't take a hot shower thinking you are washing the itch away. It's like fiber glass; hot water just makes it worse. Cold showers are multi purpose.

ReportSaveFollow

Direct contact with hairs can cause a localized skin rash that may last a few hours to several days. The rash may be red, bumpy, and itchy. Certain people may have a more severe form of the rash that can last for a few weeks. In some cases, the hairs can be inhaled and can cause respiratory problems. The rash does not spread from one person to another

BrownieMaine

Biofreeze is magic.

therealdirkk

Knocking on wood here, but they don’t seem to be as bad as last year around the Freeport/Brunswick area.

NetLibrarian

Make sure you change your sheets.

detox07

Also, the advisement is to submerge the nests in soapy water for 24 hours or more. Burning the nests just put the hairs in the air and makes it equally as bad.

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University of Maine Researchers Doing Browntail Moth Study

This pilot study is determining if pheromones could be the key to disrupting the Maine pests population and help reduce the infestation across the State of Maine. Ultimately, this research could be the large scale answer to dealing with the Browntail Moth problem here in the state.