A free and in-person workshop will be hosted by the Androscoggin Valley Soil and Water Conservation District and the University of Maine Cooperative Extension on Feb. 18, 10:30 a.m.–noon.
Rain/Snow date is the following Saturday, Feb. 25.
Topics include hands-on learning about how to recognize and remove BTM. This workshop is an outdoor event; weather-appropriate attire is required. Bring pruning equipment and work gloves. Pole saws, hand saws, and loppers will be available for participant trials. More information and the registration link can be found on Androscoggin Valley SWCD’s Events page.
Registration is requested but not required.
To draw increased attention to the risks presented to humans by the browntail moth (BTM), the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry announced February as Browntail Moth Awareness Month. Winter is the best time to spot, clip and destroy the caterpillars lying dormant in their winter webs. Web removal prevents more caterpillars from emerging, thus reducing the risk of toxic hairs, which can cause poison ivy-like rash and asthma-like reactions in humans. BTM has been in an outbreak phase since 2015, and the rash- and itch-causing pest cannot be eradicated. Comprehensive BTM tools and tips and data-informed resources compiled by the Maine Forest Service, Board of Pesticides Control, Maine Center for Disease Control, the University of Maine, and other partners, including research, infestation tracking, FAQs, and educational materials for communities, municipalities, businesses, and healthcare providers, are available on maine.gov/dacf/knockoutbtm.
Click here for additional information on BTM Awareness Month events.