Browntail moths found in Portland

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PORTLAND — Residents of the city mainland are being urged to cut away webs that are home to browntail moths as soon as possible.

City spokeswoman Jessica Grondin announced April 13 that moths had been discovered by city workers on Munjoy Hill, in East Deering, and at Deering Oaks Park.

The moths have “poisonous hairs that can cause a rash or respiratory problems,” Grondin said.

City arborist Jeff Tarling said the moths are just emerging.

“Levels in Portland are in the low-to-trace numbers at this time,” he said. “We urge residents to remove webs by clipping before the foliage comes out in May. Any clipped webs can be placed in a plastic bag and included with trash collection.”

The browntail moth has infested the city in the past, and have been recently active on Cliff Island and from Falmouth to the Bath/Brunswick area. The pest favors hawthorn, Amelanchier, apple and oak trees.

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