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Brown Tail Moth Rash Treatment

  •  If you’ve ever had a brown tail moth rash you know how itchy and painful it can be. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to treat the rash and get relief. Here are a few brown tail moth rash treatment options.
brown tail moth rash treatment

  • Browntail moth caterpillars have orange spots on their backs. Caterpillar hairs can cause a red, itchy rash on the skin, similar to poison ivy.


  • According to the website Maine.gov, "On sensitive people, the browntail moth caterpillar's tiny poisonous hairs cause dermatitis similar to poison ivy. Dermatitis can be caused by direct contact with the caterpillar or indirectly by contact with airborne hairs. 
  • Most people who are affected by the hairs develop a localized rash that lasts for a few hours to several days, but for some people, the rash can be severe and last for several weeks."
  • Because these toxic little hairs are airborne, even a simple walk to the mailbox can expose you to this nastiness. And people all over the state are looking for help.


1. When I will develop a browntail rash?

  • The months of April through July are the most dangerous for rash from toxic caterpillar hairs in Maine. In addition to direct contact with caterpillars, hairs can become airborne and cause rashes and other health problems if they come into contact with humans.


2. Why should you look for browntail moth winter nests?

  • Browntail moth larvae overwinter in white silk nests tightly woven around the leaves of trees. Unfortunately, each nest can hold up to 400 larvae, so if you see a lot of nests, you may be in for a long summer. 


3. Is the rash caused by a gypsy moth contagious?

  • This rash is usually caused by direct contact with a gypsy caterpillar or moth. However, if they are found in large numbers, their setae  can travel through the wind or fabric (such as towels, clothing, etc.)


4. How long will the rash last?

  • The condition can last for a few days. At some point in their lives, most people have experienced an itchy rash. 
  • While most are benign and will go away on their own, some may be more persistent because of underlying causes or conditions.


Prevention  of Brown Tail Moth Rash

  • To prevent Brown Tail Moth Rash, these tips are for you!
    • Wear gloves, long-sleeved and -leg garments, and hats if you are near areas infested with browntail moth caterpillars or material that may have browntail moth caterpillar hairs on it, and cover other areas of your body.
    • Avoid areas where browntail moths are present.
    • Swimming in the water near a browntail moth infestation is not recommended because the hair may float on top of the water
    • To keep browntail moth caterpillar hairs from becoming airborne, do yard work after a rain or wet the area


1. Home remedies

  • Home remedies for mild browntail moth caterpillar rashes include soaking in cool water with baking soda and applying Calamine or Caladryl lotion.

2. Medical Treatment

  • Browntail moth rash has no specific treatment. Treatment can include applying hydrocortisone cream, and calamine lotion.
  • Call 911 if you are having difficulty breathing, swallowing, or if your mouth, tongue, or throat are swelling.



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