FREEPORT, Maine (Portland Press Herald) -- School officials in Freeport have decided to treat browntail moth nests at athletic fields with an organic pesticide rather than a synthetic one, in response to parents’ concerns about the environmental effects of the chemical spray.

Click here to read the full article from our media partners at The Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram.

Dennis Ouellette, director of facilities and transportation for Regional School Unit 5, discovered what he described as “a pretty bad infestation” of browntail moths in oak trees near fields at Mast Landing School, Morse Street School, Freeport Middle School and Freeport High School. The district hired Whitney Tree Service, a licensed pesticide applicator in Maine, to spray the nests with a product called Conserve SC. Ouellette sent an email to parents to inform them spraying would take place at 5 a.m. on Saturday and advising them to avoid the fields for at least 24 hours. No trees near RSU 5 schools in Pownal and Durham need to be treated.