Bureau of Parks and Lands : Browntail Moth Alert

June 10, 2021

The browntail moth has been in Maine for over a century, and we are currently experiencing a population outbreak. The continued hot, dry conditions are contributing to its population growth and spread throughout the state. At present, parts of Cumberland County and Maine's midcoast and Capital regions are experiencing the worst of the outbreak. This area includes Bradbury Mountain, Camden Hills, Lake St. George, and Warren Island State Parks.

Browntail moth caterpillar hairs can cause a skin rash on humans like that caused by poison ivy and difficulty breathing when inhaled.

The browntail caterpillar's emergence during spring is terrible timing for those planning visits during May and June. Browntail caterpillars mature in late June or early July, pupate in their cocoons, and emerge as moths approximately two weeks later. During late July early August, the risk for browntail moth activity and exposure declines. With browntail moth hairs remaining in the environment, the risk of exposure is continuous in dry conditions.

We ask everyone to review the commonly asked questions located on the Maine Forest Service Website and visit the Maine CDC website for more information.

Many of our State Parks are not affected by browntail moth, and we are happy to assist with camping reservations in other areas or make alternate recommendations.

We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience caused by the browntail population outbreak.