If you live in Colorado or adjacent states, you may have spotted a pesky little pest this time of year: the Miller moth. While this moth is not really a problem, its larva (the army cutworm) feeds on crops and garden plants .
As such, you may be looking for ways to get rid of these moths without chemical pesticides. Well, we’ve got good news for you! Natural methods for controlling Miller moths are completely possible.
Yes, we’ll show you some easy, natural techniques that will help you control army cutworm moths.
Damage by Miller Moths
The moths are generally gray or light brown, as seen in the picture above. They are attracted to light and may invade your home as a result.
However, it’s the larvae that gardeners are afraid of. The caterpillar stage of Miller moths can do a significant amount of damage to your plants and crops.
According to experts, they can damage the crowns of plants and chew on plant stems, cutting them off completely .
Natural Ways to Get Rid of Miller Moths
There are a few ways that you can naturally protect your plants from these pests.
These solutions range from simple methods like vacuuming or releasing predators like bats into your home or garden to more complex ones like creating an insect trap.
We’ll discuss these options in more detail below!
1. Natural Enemies
It’s worth knowing that miller moths have their own natural enemies; you don’t always have to be the one to get rid of them.
The main enemies of miller moths include predatory ground beetles, some birds, bats, and wasps. Ground beetles and wasps feed on the cutworms, while birds and bats eat the moths.
2. Vacuum Them
Another way to get rid of those pesky miller moths is to simply suck them up. Use a high-powered vacuum cleaner.
Vacuuming the area around your windows can be an effective way of getting rid of miller moths. Also, vacuum all cracks and crevices, and don’t forget to get into corners, as these areas can be hot spots for these pests.
3. Essential Oils
This is a natural, non-toxic way to treat miller moths in your home and garden.
You can use certain scents that repel moths, such as lavender, clove, eucalyptus, cedarwood, and peppermint.
To use essential oils to repel moths, you can make DIY moth-repellent sprays with water and essential oils like lavender or citronella.
You can also put small amounts of the essential oils on cotton balls and place them where these Colorado moths like to gather.
Vinegar is a great option when it comes to killing miller moth larvae and eggs. Use vinegar and water (a 50/50 solution) to wipe away the eggs and larvae.
The scent of vinegar alone can also be enough to drive away adult moths.
You can make a homemade pest control solution by mixing equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Finally, spray this home remedy around the area to deter the critters.
You can use it as an indoor and outdoor moth repellent.
5. Bug Zapper
Using this common household tool is also a great way to kill miller moths in the house.
This device is designed to attract nighttime flying insects like moths and flies with a UV light, and then kill them with an electric current.
6. Keep Lights off at Night
If you keep your lights on while moths are around, they’ll flock to them.
This doesn’t mean that you need to live in total darkness. It just means turning off the floodlights, porch lights, and other outside lights when possible.
7. Bowl of Soapy Water Trap
To make a simple Miller moth trap, a bowl of soapy water and a light bulb are all you need. All you have to do is mix a few drops of dish soap in a bowl of water and suspend a light bulb over it.
The moths will flock to the light. They’ll then fly over, drop into the water, and drown in the soapy solution. It’s as easy as that!
So if you’re dealing with an infestation of miller moths in your home or garden, setting up a few light traps with soapy water can help deal with the problem.
You can also tweak this homemade moth killer to eliminate pantry moth larvae and eggs. Just scrub down your pantry with some hot, soapy water.
8. Pick Eggs off Plants
Another home remedy to control Miller moths is to pick their eggs off plants, walls, and even furniture. You’ll be able to recognize the eggs because they look like small white beads laid in masses or rows.
Once you’ve identified an area where moths have laid eggs, you should go in and remove the eggs as soon as possible before they hatch.
9. Seal Damaged Window Screens
Make sure that all your window screens are in good shape. If you notice any rips or holes, don’t wait—it’s important that you seal those up right away with a patch kit or replace them entirely.
Don’t forget about places like attic or basement windows, which likely have not been inspected for a while. Seal up damaged windows to provide an extra layer of protection against bugs, Miller moths, and other flying pests.
Miller moths can be a nuisance, but it’s possible to keep them away without resorting to harsh chemicals. From picking off the eggs to sealing windows and vents, there are plenty of organic ways to get rid of these moths.
Natural repellents such as peppermint oil, cedar oil, and vinegar can also be effective in deterring moths from entering your home.
With a little bit of patience and some creativity, you can keep your home and garden safe and pest-free without putting your health or the environment at risk.