BROWNTAIL MOTH UPDATE: July 2023
Adult browntail moths have begun to emerge from their cocoons in Bangor. You will see the white moths collecting pretty much everywhere there is an outside light left during overnight hours, as shown at Public Works, below. We did see significant evidence of caterpillar death in June, due to a fungus that is deadly to them. Many also appeared to have died in the process of spinning their cocoons. We are hoping these mortalities will result in a decreased BTM population, but only time will tell.
Photo taken at Public Works July 10, 2023.
Having lights on between 9:00 pm and midnight during July and August is likely to attract BTM to your property. This includes the use of insect traps, bug lights, and other methods of attracting and catching the moths. These are less likely to kill the moths and more likely to result in an increase in caterpillars on your property in the fall and next year. We encourage residents to turn off outdoor lights to avoid drawing the moths to their houses or property.
The City of Bangor has streetlights all over the city and we realize most of these are adjacent resident properties. In the interest of public safety, we will not be turning off these lights. We are working on a comprehensive lighting plan that will explore the option of having automatic dimmers during BTM season.
Click here to view the latest update from the Maine Forest Service.
Visit www.bangormaine.gov/moth for more information.