It feels like being a broken record. Of course, every year at some point, we talk about the perils of the brown tail moth. For every reason under the sun. Whether it's the stupid rash, or finding the right way to dispose of the nests, whatever. There's always something to talk about when it comes to the little jerks.

What's more disconcerting, is that the conversation seems to start earlier every year. This year is no exception. Winter months occasionally provide clues as to the whereabouts of the caterpillars, and wintertime is the best time to deal with them, in some ways. But they're just as crappy in the winter as any other time of year.

In Smyrna, says WABI - TV5, a winter nest has already been spotted. Like, seriously? A winter nest? What the heck is that all about? Why do we need to worry abut these hairy little turds in the winter? But like I said earlier, winter can be a decent time of year to  dispose of the nests a bit easier.

First and foremost, the nests can be as dangerous as they are any other time of year. In other words, if you choose to dispose of it, you need to be extra careful. What causes the rash is the hairs of the caterpillars, and that's what your directly in contact with here. So definitely wear some kind of face covering, and keep your skin covered. And of course, wear some protective gloves.

Next, don't be tempted to burn the nest. This can simply cause the hairs that don't burn to become airborne. Come into any kind of contact, and your asking for trouble. The recommended technique is to drown them. Water will work, gasoline is better, so I'm told. But again, don't burn them. Soak them, and then chuck them safely in the trash.

It seems crazy that we're already having to take these kinds of precautions when there's still a foot of snow on the ground, but spring is about to spring, and temps are only going to get warmer. So, we might as well go on the offense instead of defense. Just don't forget your hazmat suit!

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