AUGUSTA, Maine — An infestation by a noxious caterpillar in the Brunswick area appears to have been killed off by a fungal disease brought on by May’s rainy weather.
The Maine Forest Service said a naturally occurring fungus that affects only browntail moth caterpillars appears to have wiped out the infestation in the Brunswick, Bath, Topsham and Bowdoinham.
Winter web surveys had showed that the caterpillar population, which can harm human beings, was going to be extremely high this year. Twice as many webs were seen in comparison to the previous year, especially in the Brunswick-Bowdoinham area.
Entomologist Charlene Donahue said the caterpillars came out on schedule in May and started feeding, but 11 straight days of rain forced the caterpillars to return to their webs where they died of a fungus.