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Albuquerque Innsights

Former New Mexico innkeeper knows secrets and tells anyone who will listen.

It’s Miller time! Moths take over Albuquerque.

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.

miller beer slogan, it's Miller time.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.

A Miller mothSome 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.

11 Responses to “It’s Miller time! Moths take over Albuquerque.”

  1. Patricia says:


    I grew up in Ohio where June bugs are a real problem! They hang on and completely cover your screen door. When you open it and walk out they are in your face…. I actually miss them a very tiny bit as they mark the beginning of summer in the midwest. Cheers!

  2. I haven’t visited your neck of the woods, sounds like I need to pick the right time of year!

    I had a Hunstman spider incident in a car Australia, and a infestation of flying ants in my hut in Thailand. The world over has it’s problems!! Not too much in England though…

    Love the blog, kind regards, Si

  3. Maggi says:

    The meter reader came to the front door (which has a security door on the other side) yesterday. I, innocently, went to open the door and, honestly, was assaulted by about 50 moths. I shrieked and slammed the door in the poor man’s face. I shouted through the closed kitchen window that I’d meet him in the back yard. When I saw him, he said, “What’s with the moths?” He said he’d been to several peoples’ homes and hadn’t seen them anywhere else. I couldn’t believe it!! I’m kinda looking around for the Pharoah . . . cause this looks like a plague! I went to the store today and, every time I stopped for a light, many, many moths would fly out from under my car. It was embarrassing.

  4. Vashi says:

    “CHILDREN OF MOTHRA” is the name I would give to the “B” movie-esque situation here in the Duke City this week *SHUDDER*.

    Thanks for this delightful post. I shared it on my FB page! 🙂

  5. i can’t tell you how lucky i felt to stumble upon this post yesterday! it seemed so serendipitous, in fact, that i totally linked to you today.

    and thank you especially for the Mothra trivia–although the timing on that seems less ‘serendipitous’ than in does ‘portentous’ if you know what i’m saying. i certainly hope these millers don’t get any bigger and that we can look forward to the evening (soon, i hope) when their fluttery presence doesn’t obscure our night vision quite so much. (ugh.)

  6. JV says:

    That explains a lot, for a minute there I was thinking it was the beginning of the end

  7. marco rincones says:

    1964 to today, (2012) is 48 years if my cipherin’ is close to correct.

    • adobenido says:

      Duh. Bad me. Bad math! Thanks for the correction! I’m better at ritin than rithmatic.

  8. Cat says:

    I moved here almost 2 years ago and never knew about this problem. When I first saw them, I went out to my patio to enjoy the evening air and saw hundreds of them flying around the locust tree. I slowly backed into the house and slammed the door shut. I felt like I was in an Alfred Hitchcock movie.

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