Browntail Moths Are A Risk To Human & Forest Health In Maine
Considered an invasive species throughout coastal Maine and now inland, browntail moths have become a serious problem – and one that shows no signs of slowing down.
The concern isn’t with the moth itself but the caterpillar form. The microscopic, toxic hairs on these insects can cause painful skin rashes, headaches, and respiratory issues when inhaled.
In addition to the human health concerns, BTM caterpillars are also a threat forest. These invasive insects primarily feed on and damage buds and newly emerged leaves of mature oak trees. They also attack fruit-bearing trees and although they do not touch conifers and only rarely feed on maples, birch and ash trees are also at risk.
Maine's Premier Browntail Moth Control Provider
From April through May, Pine State’s browntail moth control division is out in force treating browntail moth caterpillars throughout most of the state. Our treatments are designed to eliminate browntail moth caterpillars before they’ve even had a chance to grow their poisonous hairs. When you schedule treatment, you can count on our Maine-based, locally owned pest control company to take care of these pests so you don’t have to worry about your family or your trees.
One way of getting rid of browntail moth caterpillars is by treating the trees that host them a couple weeks before the tree’s first buds. This treatment works by injecting product straight into the tree beneath the bark where it will be carried through the veins of the tree with the sap and concentrate in the tree’s leaves. Once BTM caterpillars start feeding, they’ll be exposed to the product and eliminated.
Micro injections are ideal for properties that are on or within 25 feet of ocean, lake, pond, or other water sources. There is no risk of exposed pesticide exposure and no secondary dangers such as birds eating falling leaves.
Spraying trees approximately one week before leaves start opening is another highly effective treatment option Pine State employs to control BTM caterpillars.
A fully licensed applicator will render a spray treatment of certified organic bio-pesticides and reduced risk pesticides to trees on your property. Lethal to BTM caterpillars, these products are virtually non-toxic to mammals, birds, and beneficial insects.
At Pine State Pest Solutions, we also offer vehicle mounted spraying for this invasive pest problem. In fact, we are the only company in the state who uses side-by-sides mounted with high power misting blowers to treat large properties with an acre or more of trees.
This light-weight vehicle allows us to reach tree foliage up to 85 feet high, navigate tight properties more efficiently, and access rougher paths and terrain common to Maine. What’s more, you don’t have to worry about a one-ton truck driving over your septic system.
Don't Wait For Browntail Moth Caterpillars To Show Up, Schedule Your Treatment Today!
The best time to schedule your browntail moth caterpillar treatment is before these pests are on the move. We highly recommend contacting our pest control company in February or March so that we can get you in our scheduling system. Don't wait until it's too late; simply give us a call or fill out the form today!
Frequently Asked Questions About Browntail Moths
Why look for browntail moth winter nests?
Winter is a great time to take a look at your trees to see if there are any active browntail moth nests on them. Browntail moths overwinter as larvae enclosed in white silk nests tightly woven around the leaves of trees. Unfortunately, each nest can contain up to 400 larvae so if you see a lot of nests, you could be in for a very uncomfortable summer. If your trees contain a lot of nests or even a few, contact Pine State Pest Solutions. We have the equipment and expertise to eradicate browntail moth caterpillars before they leave you and your family with rashes.
What time of year am I most likely to get a browntail moth caterpillar rash?
In Maine, the greatest risk for rashing from toxic caterpillar hairs is April through July. In addition to direct exposure to caterpillars, hairs can become airborne if disturbed and can cause rashes and other health issues if they come into contact with people.
How do you treat a browntail moth caterpillar rash?
While suggestions for remedying mild browntail moth caterpillar rashes range from soaking in cool water with baking soda to using Calamine or Caladryl lotion, we recommend contacting your health care provider.