July 17, 2023
The larval stage of the browntail moth is a significant nuisance for Maine residents, causing health issues and damaging trees. And now that they’ve entered their moth phase and have left the trees, they’re showing up everywhere. In this blog post, we’ll discuss what this means for the coming winter and what property owners can do to protect their families and trees from these invasive insects.
When the moth phase begins & where you’re likely to see these pests
Browntail moths go through several stages in their life cycle. The adult moths are white in color, with noticeable tufts of brown hair on their bodies. They typically emerge in late June or early July. During this time, you may see these white moths on the sides of your home, around exterior lighting at night, and elsewhere around your home and property.
What does it mean if you notice browntail moths on your property this summer?
While you don’t have to worry about adult moths causing damage or even posing any kind of direct health threat, it’s important to note that their presence on your property now means you’re likely to see winter nests in your trees once the cold weather arrives.
Here's why that’s a problem for Mainers
The real concern lies with the browntail moth caterpillars. In the spring, the female moths lay eggs on the undersides of leaves. These eggs hatch into caterpillars in late April or early May. The caterpillars have distinctive brown tufts of hair and are known for their ability to release irritating hairs that can cause skin rashes, respiratory issues, and eye irritation in humans.
The caterpillars also cause damage when they feed on a wide range of trees, including oak, apple, birch, and other hardwood species.
How property owners can prevent a BTM problem next spring
To prepare for next year, consider signing up for Pine State’s browntail moth control today. When you do, you can count on our locally owned and operated pest control company to treat the trees on your property next spring, before the caterpillars cause problems.
How Pine State Pest Solutions stop browntail moths
Available in Belgrade, Oakland, and Cousins Island as well as elsewhere in our multi-count service area, our browntail moth control solutions include tree micro injections (ideal for properties that are on or within 25 feet of ocean, lake, pond, or other water sources) and tree spraying. We also offer vehicle mounted tree spraying for properties with an acre or more of trees.
Don’t wait for spring, sign up for browntail moth control today!
Keep in mind, the best way to rid your property of BTMs is to eradicate these pests before they leave the trees, which means we have a narrow treatment window. Rather than wait until you find browntail caterpillars dropping their toxic hairs all over your property and wreaking havoc on your trees, contact Pine State to schedule your spring BTM assessment today!