It’s that time of year in Colorado: the time when the moths get really annoying. The bad news is it’s about to get worse in northern Colorado.
Colorado State University entomologist Whitney Cranshaw says a large number of the caterpillars that turn into Miller moths have been reported in the plains of northeastern Colorado and western Nebraska.
The population size of these catepillars, known as army cutworms, helps scientists predict the number of moths that will fly through the Front Range as they migrate to the mountains for the summer.
Cranshaw says the reports suggest that the numbers of adults moths migrating across northeastern Colorado will be well above average and the flight will extend for "several weeks."
He says southern Colorado will not have a heavy influx this year due to the drought conditions in the southeastern part of the state.
Cranshaw also notes that temperature and humidity affect how many moths fly through a particular area.
“Pulses of migration often occur on warm, calm nights with clear skies,” Cranshaw says. “Moisture and the abundance of flowering plants will also impact the numbers of Miller moths.”
Do you have a story to tell about Miller moths in your life? Share it on our Facebook page. And for more information on Miller moths, see this explainer from Colorado State University.