According to NECN Boston, the midcoast region of Maine is experiencing an “extreme outbreak” of Browntail moth caterpillars that can cause respiratory problems and rashes.
“The population really picked up in 2016, and it’s gotten even larger,” said Maine Department of Forestry Entomologist Charlene Donahue. “We’re really seeing an extreme outbreak now.”
The article reports that the insects are invasive pests that have poisonous hairs. They pose the greatest threat around June, when their hairs become airborne.
“Just being outside in a Browntail moth infested area can cause a problem,” said Donahue, “even if you don’t touch them, or even see them.”