Yesterday, I was out walking my dog when I came across something that surprised me. The snow has finally gotten to a level that I can take her over parts of the lawn my hiking boots couldn't go due to the depth of the snow. So, during our travels, I came across a small rolled-up leaf laying on top of the snow. And, on the leaf, was webbing. It is the sign of the Browntail Moth Caterpillar and our efforts to be mindful of this creature continue.  As residents of Maine suffering through this insects increased population in recent years we continue our vigilance. This vigilance is also mindful at the state level as well in which surveying the activity allows all of us insight on where this invasive insect will terrorize residents next and where mitigation efforts need to be.

Browntail impacting new locations in the State of Maine

The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry sent out information about this year's winter web information on Tuesday. The department's Forest Health and Monitoring staff have been diligently tracking winter webs of the Browntail Moth Caterpillar throughout Maine. The information found shows the spreading of the invasive insect into more inland and southern areas of the State of Maine.

Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry
Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry

A visual of Browntail locations in the state from March 2022

A map with new data was shared that new locations of Browntail Moth Caterpillar activity have been detected further inland and south into parts of Maine. Specifically, the department remarks that Oxford and Piscataquis are seeing new activity. Also, York county is seeing its first activity tracked so far of the Browntail moth caterpillar.

Current strategies before their spring return

The forest health and monitoring staff will continue doing their survey work. In the meantime, Mainers and municipalities continue their efforts to #KnockoutBrowntail on their own accord, tracking down the winter webs individually and burning the clippings.

For more information about mitigation efforts, including how to track down and take on mitigation efforts for your property, check out the Maine Department of Conservation, Agriculture, and Forestry's webpage dedicated to Browntail.

University of Maine Researchers Doing Browntail Moth Study

This pilot study is determining if pheromones could be the key to disrupting the Maine pests population and help reduce the infestation across the State of Maine. Ultimately, this research could be the large scale answer to dealing with the Browntail Moth problem here in the state.

5 Animals That Are No Longer Found In the Wild in Maine

10 Actors Who Adopted Animals From Movie And Sets

More From WBZN Old Town Maine