While driving to pick up some take out food for lunch I was stopped at a light and what I saw there made me laugh out loud. There was a beer truck next to me with the slogan, “It’s Miller Time!” It sure is. Not beer time, but rather moth time. Not exactly Mothra, but definitely an invasion, of sorts.
I hadn’t seen a Miller Moth infestation in quite a while, but last Sunday night some friends came over for dinner, after dark we walked outside and quite suddenly it had happened. You literally could NOT swing a dead cat without hitting a moth. Crap. Here we go…
We don’t always have the miller moth problem. By problem, I mean that some years they are like the 17 year locust and they are everywhere in large numbers, and some years you barely see ten in a season. This year is a problem year, for sure.
There is a difference between a problem and a nuisance. A nuisance is when you open the screen door and they flare up in front of your face, or when you turn off all the lights at night to watch a little tv at bedtime and four or five of them flutter around the screen. A problem is when you are driving down the road and they come up from under the car seat or vents and fly right into your face, scaring the piss out of you. I just know they’re causing car accidents, never mind heart attacks.
Some precautions to take are: When walking next to bushes or hedges don’t brush against them. When getting into your car open all the windows and hit the fan BEFORE driving off. Keep all windows and vent shut tight at night.
We don’t like their other form either – the army cutworm. They are the scourge of anyone who loves to garden, including me. They lie in the soil waiting for someone to plant a tender young seedling, then they wrap themselves around the stem and the next morning your plant looks like someone cut it off just below the surface of the soil. They did. It’s Miller Time!
This year I actually looked up “the Millers” as they are not so affectionately called here in town. (The name “Millers” is to be almost spat out of the mouth contemptuously as Jerry Seinfeld would say “Newman”) I found they migrate here into the higher elevations from the mid-American plains. Ah, a vacation in the Rockies.
I wish they would stay home. Right now we have enough to deal with having just experienced the annual Elm Seed Festival, followed by the annual flight of the Cottonwood cotton. The air quality really sucks this week. Between the elm seeds, cotton and Millers, you just about have to hold your breath when stepping out the door! A week or two and they’ll be done. I can hardly wait.
By the way – we ARE coming up on a big Moth date…April 29, 1964…Mothra met Godzilla for the first time 58 years ago. You needed to know that, didn’t you? If you don’t know what Mothra is you’d better get-a-googling.