- Associated Press - Thursday, June 5, 2014

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (AP) - The relatively mild winter let more miller moths survive to hang around Nebraska longer this year, a bug expert said.

An unusual number of the moths - also known as army cutworm moths - have been swarming over the plains and into homes for the past month or so.

Entomologist David Boxler with the West Central Research and Extension Center in North Platte told The North Platte Telegraph (https://bit.ly/1xcqVcu ) that the relatively lower temperatures this spring encouraged the survivors to remain.

“They are just one of those insects that we have to put up with for a short period of time,” Boxler said.

To keep the insects outdoors, Boxler said, people should keep their doors closed, ensure windows and screens are tight and turn off lights at night. Yellow-colored porch lights also keep moths away from doors.

Miller moths lay eggs in the open fields of the Central Plains, and this spring their emerging larvae caused problems as they fed heavily in alfalfa and wheat fields. They are classified as a crop destructive insect but are harmless otherwise.

The higher temperatures coming this summer will spur the insects to resume their normal migration to the cooler clime of the Rocky Mountains.

“They actually provide a good food source for bears,” Boxler said.

The moths will return this fall to lay eggs in Nebraska, Kansas and Iowa.


Information from: The North Platte Telegraph, https://www.nptelegraph.com



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