Maine CDC Health Advisory

May 2, 2024

Health Risks from Browntail Moths

The browntail moth is an invasive species of both forest and human health concern. Maine is the only state in the U.S. currently experiencing widespread problems with this moth. The microscopic hairs found on browntail moth caterpillars, shed skins, and cocoons can cause skin reactions and breathing problems. Providers should be aware of the risk of browntail moth hairs, and the public should know what they can do to help reduce exposure to browntail moth caterpillar hairs. Browntail moth caterpillars are hairy, dark brown caterpillars with two red-orange dots on the back. Older caterpillars have two white stripes running from head to tail.

Advisory (PDF)