The painful itching and scratching is in high gear, Bangor!

For the last 24 hours, I have recieved a visit from a very unwelcome friend...that damn Brown Tail Moth Rash. The scary part is that it literally comes out of nowhere, and next thing you know, you are extremely uncomfortabale.

Things are really cookin in the Bangor area, especially on the West Side of town where I live. In fact, there is a Brown Tail Moth Rash map where you can see exactly where this is spreading the fastest, and that part of the city seems to be the epicenter of it all.

If nothing else, the map will help you be aware of the potential to get it, especially if you are in a high risk area.

The City of Bangor reports show that the nests have all opened. That means the caterpillars are growing, and shedding skin and hairs. That's where the problem starts, once they become airborne.

Browntail moth caterpillars grow and shed hairs from April to late June or early July, and the hairs remain toxic in the environment for up to three years. Hairs can spread through the wind and become airborne again through mowing, raking, sweeping and other activities. Fun huh?

Good News:
The adult moth does not shed these toxic hairs

Bad News:
The process of breaking out of the cocoon allows the hairs from their old caterpillar.

I have personally been dealing with this for a couple years now, and I can tell you, it ain’t fun. Luckily, there is a bit of relief in the form of some of the various sprays and lotions available.

If you stop by your local drug store, you can quickly whip up a batch of the spray to give some comfort, albeit temporarily

Brown Tail Moth Rash Spray
• 1/2 30 gm tube of hydrocortisone 1% cream (Cortizone-10)
• 1/2 30 gm tube of diphenhydramine hydrochloride 2% and zinc acetate 0.1% cream (Extra Strength BENADRYL)
• 1/4 30 gm tube lidocaine 4% cream (Aspercreme)
• 1/4 cup witch hazel solution.

You will find it works best when you put it in the fridge and keep it cool!

If you'd like to report a browntail moth sighting, you may do so here You can also monitor the Maine Forest Service website for more frequent updates regarding the problem statewide on their website

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