- Associated Press - Monday, December 5, 2016

BOWDOINHAM, Maine (AP) - Several Maine communities are considering joining forces to combat a moth species notorious for an itchy, painful rash caused by the hairs of its larvae.

The browntail moth is an invasive insect that came to New England just before the turn of the 19th century. The moths begin their lives as caterpillars with poisonous hairs that can cause skin irritation resembling a poison ivy rash.

The Portland Press Herald reports (https://bit.ly/2hatRqK ) Bowdoinham has created a browntail moth task force and provides directions on trimming winter nests. Its public library lends tools to cut them down.

Officials say Sagadahoc County town managers plan to informally discuss a larger pesticide treatment effort this month.

State officials say six times more acreage of trees was defoliated by moth larvae this fall over last.

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Information from: Portland Press Herald, https://www.pressherald.com

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