UX Extension: Miller Moths Annoying but Temporary

Written by on June 22, 2020

So – what’s with the moths?

If you live in a more urban area in Wyoming, you might have noticed more than a few moths on your doors, in your cars, and in your homes. These are miller moths, which are being observed in record numbers across the western U.S. Some states are reporting 19-year high numbers of the insects. The abundance of numbers in Cody and other towns is driven by a number of factors. The conditions for their survival and reproduction have been optimal for the last few years, and dry conditions in the country are driving them to urban areas in search of watered landscapes and flowering plants to find nectar.

While they aren’t dangerous in any way, they can be annoying. University of Wyoming Extension entomologist Scott Schell says there are a few steps you can take to reduce their annoyance. Turning off outdoor lights will reduce their concentration, as will changing to yellow light instead of warm or cool whites we tend to use. Or use one light away from your home as the primary “moth light.” Also, check your window screens and weather seals for cracks big enough to let moths scurry in. Fixing any holes or gaps helps keep them out when they seek places to hide for the day.

Schell promises the miller moth is only a temporary annoyance. The moths will soon be migrating to higher ground in search of more nectar, so they shouldn’t be a huge presence in Cody for too much longer.

 


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