Coloradans can expect moths again this year, but not quite as many as in 2020

Miller moths are back, but you might see fewer than last year.

Colorado’s plains-to-mountain moth migration is expected soon, however, a report from Colorado State University states that sightings in residents’ homes will be “substantially less” and “occur later” than in 2020.

These flights can last up to five or six weeks, depending on weather conditions. CSU’s estimations suggest that numbers will peak in early to mid June, however, the moths could still be around in late June.

Given the moisture Colorado has seen, more flowers are expected to bloom, which serve as a nectar source for the moths.

“With more abundant blossom availability, moths do not concentrate so heavily in irrigated landscapes and become less noticeable,” according to CSU’s report.

What are miller moths and are they dangerous?

Miller moths are the adult stage of the army cutworm. They mainly reside in Colorado as well as parts of Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, New Mexico and Arizona. If one or multiple moths get into your home, fear not — they won’t hurt you, nor will they lay eggs during migratory flights.

Why were there so many moths in 2020?

Last year there seemed to be way more moths than usual. There was a larger number of army cutworms and because of the consistent warm temperatures, the insects’ development was sped up.

Additionally, the drought and cold weather impacted flower growth resulting “in the highest incidence of nuisance problems with the moths in at least a decade,” the report said.

How do I keep the moths from getting into my house?

Residents should seal any openings around windows and doors to prevent moths from getting inside. Since moths are attracted to bright light, try to keep the lighting low at night.

Diffusing essential oils or setting sticky traps are also effective in getting rid of moths. Oils like cedarwood, eucalyptus or lavender repel insects.

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