Browntail Moths

btm info

 Town Treatment & Private Property Program Information

Please be on the lookout for browntail moth caterpillars as they emerge this month (May).  

Contact btm [at] if you see browntail moth activity so we can continue to monitor and assess the island as a whole.  

Pictures of browntail moth caterpillars for identification and more information can be found on the State of Maine website.

Browntail Moths- Why are they a problem?

Browntail caterpillars (Euproctis chrysorrhoea) have tiny toxic hairs that readily break off of their bodies and can stay toxic in the environment for up to three years. These hairs can cause severe skin irritation and in some cases difficulty breathing and other symptoms. Browntail moth caterpillars also feed on the leaves of broad-leaved trees and shrubs. Repeated seasons of feeding can lead to tree damage. 

Every year since 1994, Maine has noted pockets of high populations of this non-native pest.  In 2015, browntail moth populations entered an outbreak phase, defoliating tens of thousands of acres state-wide annually. We cannot eradicate browntail moths, instead, management should focus on reducing impacts to people through targeted reduction of their populations.  State of Maine DACF Fact Sheet

BTM Caterpillar

May & June- Caterpillars emerge from winter nests and are most active.  Report any sightings to btm [at] () so we can monitor island infestation.

July- "Lights Out" Turn off outdoor lights during the moth stage to reduce the attraction of new moths to your property.

Winter Season until April- Remove winter nests from your trees and foliage with a licensed pesticide applicator or with pruning tools.