Outbreaks of Destructive Moth Expected to Be Bad in Maine - NECN
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Outbreaks of Destructive Moth Expected to Be Bad in Maine

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    Outbreaks of Destructive Moth Expected to Be Bad in Maine
    AP
    A photo provided by the Maine Forest Service, browntail caterpillars in the fall get their web ready for winter, in Bath, Maine .Browntail moth caterpillars are on the rise in Maine. The caterpillars’ hairs can cause a painful rash in humans. State scientists say it’s difficult to control the spread of the bugs, which has been aided by dry weather. (Maine Forest Servic ACFvia AP)

    A scientist with the University of Maine says the Pine Tree State's trouble with a moth that defoliates trees and irritates people is likely to be bad this year.

    Maine has a problem with the browntail moth, which is an invasive species that lives in the state. The moth harms some fruit trees and native trees, and its caterpillars have barbed hairs that can cause severe dermatitis in people. They can also cause respiratory problems for sensitive people.

    The Maine Forest Service conducted an aerial survey in fall 2018 that showed more than 126,000 impacted acres, which was double the amount two years earlier.

    University of Maine entomologist Eleanor Groden says the problem with the insect is spreading in the state. She's working with the forest service on management strategies.

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