Forest Pests

Overview

There are many invasive forest pests that are threatening Maine forests and trees. Below you will find information on several that are here in the Lake Region.

Emerald Ash Borer

Emerald Ash Borer is an invasive beetle that poses a serious threat to Maine's Ash trees.

What can you do to help?

  • KEEP FIREWOOD LOCAL! A major vector for EAB is the transport of firewood. Going camping this summer? Buy your firewood where you burn it.
  • Know what an ash tree looks like and keep a close eye on ash in your yard, your neighborhood or that you see on a regular basis. Report signs of EAB at maine.gov/eab
  • Act quickly to report any ash trees that are declining and may pose a danger to people or structures. EAB infested Ash trees can become very brittle and should not be climbed.
  • If your ash trees are within ten miles of a known infestation, now is the time to make a plan! Your district forester can help with this. Pesticide injections can help ash trees that serve an important purpose, such as providing shade. This guide from the State of Maine may aid your decision making process.
  • Reach out to Maggie at maggie@lelt.org with any general questions about EAB.

Emerald Ash Borer Signs and Symptoms

Browntail Moth

Browntail moths are a non-native pest with tiny toxic hairs that can cause skin irritation similar to poison ivy and in some cases difficulty breathing and other symptoms. They have been located throughout the Lake Region, and can be easily identified by the two red dots on their back with broken white stripes.

Browntai Moth Winter Webs

The webs are about palm-sized, and can be found on branch tips of oak, apple, crabapple, cherry, shadbush and rugosa rose (occasionally other trees as well). These white, silken webs contain 25 to 400 caterpillars, are spun in the early fall, and remain firmly attached to the tips of small branches all winter. The webs are often confused with silken structures formed by other less disruptive species of moths.

Follow the four R's to help knockout Browntail:

  • RECOGNIZE webs during the winter season when they are easiest to see.
  • REMOVE winter webs with hand snips or an extendable pole pruner before April. Destroy webs by soaking them in soapy water or burn them safely and legally.
  • RECRUIT professional help to treat or remove webs you can’t reach in areas of high human use such as your dooryard.
  • REACH OUT and let your neighbors and town officials know if you find browntail caterpillars or webs in your neighborhood.

Resources

Browntail Moth - Maine Department of Agriculture Conservation and Forestry

Frequently Asked Questions

Hemlock Wooly Adelgid

The hemlock woolly adelgid is an invasive aphid-like insect that feeds on hemlocks. Feeding damage leads to decline and can cause mortality of affected trees.