Maine Warns of Poisonous Caterpillar Outbreak

The greatest risk for exposure to the toxic hairs is from now through July.

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Maine is urging the public to be cautious of browntail moth caterpillars, which have tiny hairs which can become airborne and cause a skin reaction or trouble breathing.

The Maine Center for Disease Control says the public is at risk of contact with the hairs because of increased outdoor time in the summer. Reaction to the hairs can include rash, respiratory distress and skin irritation.

Browntail moths are dark brown with white stripes along the sides and have two red-orange dots on the back; younger caterpillars may lack white stripes. The moths are active from April to late June.

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