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Summer 2016 Virtually 'Miller Moth Free' Along Front Range

By Chris Spears

DENVER (CBS4) - Miller moths are something seen just about every summer in Colorado.

According to CSU Extension the miller moth is the adult stage of the army cutworm, which feeds on crops and garden plants during the winter and early spring while still a caterpillar.

Army cutworm with damaged seedling. (credit: CSU Extension)

As the heat of summer arrives miller moths migrate to higher elevations as they seek flowering plants. They sometimes can travel hundreds of miles to reach the mountains.

Miller Moths
Miller moths (credit: CBS)

But this year we haven't seen large swarms like in past seasons. While several things can impact the population of miller moths weather is often a big factor.

It's not entirely clear why there isn't a big population of miller moths this year, but an entomologist with the Cooperative Extension says in an online blog that whatever happened to lower the miller moth population started last year, as there were very few moths to lay eggs in the late summer and early fall of 2015.

Meteorologist Chris Spears writes about stories related to weather and climate in Colorado. Check out his bio, connect with him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @ChrisCBS4.

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