State officials are warning about an invasion of a pesky caterpillars.
The Forest Service says infestations of browntail moth caterpillars have been discovered throughout Southern Maine and pockets have also been discovered in Central Maine.
The Browntail moth is an invasive species that arrived in the U.S. from Europe around 1910.
The caterpillars hairs and skin are extremely toxic and can cause a blistery oozy rash on some people and even respiratory problems.
Officials say residents should begin thinking about how they want to deal with the pest if they should find it on their own property.
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A list of recommended precautions is available on the Department’s website.http://www.maine.gov/dacf/mfs/forest_health/insects/browntail_moth_precautions.htm.
For information about the browntail moth caterpillar: http://maine.gov/dacf/mfs/forest_health/invasive_threats/index.htm#btm
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