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UMass Extension Landscape, Nursery & Urban Forestry Program

The UMass Extension Landscape, Nursery and Urban Forestry Program helps to educate landscape, nursery and turf professionals by providing programs and research-based information on the best horticultural practices and technology for environmental stewardship in nursery and landscape management.

Adult browntail moth reported on 7/13/21 in Plymouth, MA. (iNaturalist by iandavies.)

The browntail moth (Euproctis chrysorrhoea) is an insect that was accidentally introduced to Massachusetts from Europe in 1897. By the early 1900s, it spread into all of New England and parts of Canada. The caterpillars of this species feed on oak, shadbush, cherry, beach plum, apple, rugosa rose, and other trees and shrubs. While the feeding damage from the caterpillars on landscape specimens may be problematic, the primary cause for concern with regard to browntail moth is medical: the caterpillars of this species possess poisonous hairs that cause a rash similar to poison ivy, and, in some sensitive individuals, may cause trouble breathing or sometimes a more severe allergic reaction.

Spotted lanternfly adult at rest. Note the wings are held roof-like over the back of the insect. (Image: Gregory Hoover.)

The spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) is an invasive, non-native Hemipteran (true bugs, cicadas, hoppers, aphids, etc.) in the family Fulgoridae (the planthoppers).