It’s Miller Moth Season in Colorado – Grandma’s Remedy For Them
Those nasty, dusty, ugly butterfly-looking Miller moths are back to drive you crazy. This year CSU experts are predicting a rise in moth numbers all across Northern Colorado, so you can choose to get used to them, or use my grandma’s remedy to get rid of them.
Miller moths, nasty little creatures! In your car, in your house, in my studio, they seem to be everywhere! Although they don’t hurt you, and wont eat tonight’s dinner out of the pantry, they are more than annoying. Maybe it’s their size, maybe it’s their reckless flight, or that “dust” that they’re covered in, but something about these little buggers drives me crazy!
Growing up I remember my grandmother being deathly afraid of “millers,” and keeping a bowl of soapy water in every room of her house to catch them. After having three of them fly at my head in the studio over the last few days, I am thinking about getting grandma on the phone for the recipe for this “miller booby trap.” But before I go taking innocent lives I’ve decide to find out what these guys are all about…
‘Miller moth’ is the term given to any type of moth that is abundant in and around homes. In Colorado and much of the Rocky Mountain west, the common ‘miller’ is the adult stage of the army cutworm, Euxoa auxiliaris. In some years it becomes a serious nuisance pest, particularly during its annual migration from the plains to the mountains in late spring. Army cutworm moths have a wing span of 1.5 to 2 inches. It is generally gray or light brown with wavy dark and light markings on the wings. The wing patterns of the moths are variable in color and markings, but all have a distinctive kidney-shaped marking on the fore-wing.
Info courtesy of www.ext.colostate.edu.
How To Get Rid Of Moths
The two main “eaters” of Miller moths are swallows and grizzly bears. Because it may cause more problems to keep a wild bird or bear around the house to take care of the moths, most active house cats, and even some dogs, enjoy a Miller or two from time to time as well, and have fun catching them too.
Oh, and my grandma’s soapy water trick does work too. Suspend a light bulb over a bucket partially filled with soapy water. Moths attracted to the light often will fall into the water and be killed. If this is attempted some wetting agent, such as soap or detergent, must be added or many moths will escape.