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Maine says it’s time to kill rash-causing caterpillars

March 3, 2018

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — State entomologists say it’s time for Maine property owners to remove a species of invasive caterpillar from trees where they can be reached.

The state has worked to control the spread of browntail moth caterpillars, which cause a rash that resembles poison ivy. The caterpillars spend winter webbed in leaves on oak and apple trees.

The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry says property owners should look for bright white silk tying a few leaves to the tips of apple and oak tree branches. They ask property owners clip out the web and destroy it by dropping it in a bucket of soapy water and soaking it overnight.

Browntail moth caterpillars are found from the New Hampshire border to Deer Isle and parts of inland Maine.

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