Attack of the Zombie Miller Moths!

Yesterday, without warning, they attacked.

I innocently stepped into the backyard yesterday afternoon. The sun was lowering with soft golden light, the lilacs glowed, redolent and sweet. And a cloud of miller moths lifted from the lilac blossoms. 

Thousands of them. Everywhere.

Now I’ve lived in the Rocky Mountain West most of my life and we who live here know of the annual spring miller moth infestations. Some years are worse than others, following some arcane cycle of moisture and warmth. There are tales of people filling vacuum cleaner bags full of the things without making a dent.

I’ve never seen anything like this.

I’m just relieved I put the screens on last weekend. Last night, hoards of the moths flung themselves against the screens, mindlessly groaning to come in. (Okay, maybe they weren’t groaning.) You can see that the guard cat was ready to take action, should they come crashing through.

This morning, there is no sign of them, except a stray fluttering here and there. It’s like the dawn after the horror movie’s endless night. The birds sing sweetly. We feel relieved and happy.

But tonight… tonight the shadows will lengthen, the sun will set.

Run away!

14 Replies to “Attack of the Zombie Miller Moths!”

  1. Hmm…perhaps this was the genesis of the Mothman myth.

    But here in the Midwest, we have ladybug swarms to contend with. They’re really awful when they swarm and invade one’s house. They reek and are really difficult to get rid of. The conventional wisdom is to hoover ’em up, but they can get too numerous for that.

    Good luck with the moths. Perhaps I should send you a box of these? http://www.livemantis.com/

      1. They release this TERRIBLE, bitter, nasty smell when they’re disturbed. Especially en masse. It’s truly unforgettable.

        And they also taste bad if they fall off the ceiling and land in your pasta. True story.

  2. :shudder: I hate moths. We’ve got a boatload of them up here this year again (they were bad last year) but I don’t know if they’re miller moths. All I know is they make my skin crawl. Luckily, the sparrows seem to think they’re snack food, so they’re working hard to clean up the yard.

    I knew I feed the sparrows for more than one reason. ;o)

  3. In San Antonio we had those field crickets that swarmed. Noisy things that liked to get into your house and sing ALL NIGHT LONG. In Dallas we had June Bugs that swarmed (horrible brown beetles that love to land in your hair) and here in Huntsville we have the evil Crane Fly that looks like a giant mosquito that swarms every year. I can’t seem to escape mother nature.

  4. Zombie Miller Moths…..
    Hmmm… I see a really cool story there.
    Here in Groningen we don’t have any bug infestations or swarms, but when I still lived with my parents we would have a flying ant swarm from time to time, but not on this scale.

  5. It’s May 18. They are still here in Santa Fe. Came home to a dark house and had about 15 hanging on a lampshade with the light OFF. My vacuum is my best friend -love it when it just sucks them up.

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