It's almost that time of year here in Maine. People will start bringing out their lawn furniture, grills, fire pits and everything else that belongs outside for the spring and summer seasons.

We'll start to see little colorful buds on the trees, then leaves, then the infestation of the dreaded browntail moth.

An article in the Associated Press says a scientist with the University of Maine is telling Maine residents that this years population of the invasive moth will be a bad one this year. USM entomologist Eleanor Groden says the problem with the insect is spreading in Maine. The article reports that she’s working with the forest service on management strategies.

These little buggers are trouble right from the start. Before they morph into the moth, they're caterpillars with barbed hairs that can cause severe dermatitis in people, as well as also causing respiratory problems for sensitive people. Then, the moths harm some fruit trees and native trees like oak. Last year the Maine Forest Service discovered more than 126,000 impacted acres from the browntail moth, and believe it or not that number has doubled since 2017, the Associated Press reports.

Now is the best time to get at the nests, while the larva are dormant. Here are some tips to help safely remove the nests.

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