Moths Invade Billings-Make Great Snacks for Grizzlies

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"Macro photo of Miller moth Euxoa auxiliaris. In its caterpillar stage, the army cutworm may damage crops, including alfalfa, winter wheat and gardens. Spring flights of miller moths move east to west across the eastern half of the state from moths that developed across eastern Colorado. They fly west and ultimately settle at higher elevations. Birds enjoy eating the moths and even grizzly bears search out the high protein moths in the fall, rolling over boulders to scoop up the moths in the high mountains of Yellowstone National Park."

BILLINGS, Mont. — The magic city has been invaded by miller moths; many of you have noticed those pesky little critters flying around your homes.  

They are annoying, but those little moths are just making their way through Billings, from the great plains to the Rockies as part of their migration habit. 

The amount this year is higher than usual, according to MSU Bozeman entomologist – Robert Peterson. 

He says the moisture we recently received is definitely one reason why there are so many.  

Robert says they are coming from multiple areas into billings to spend the summer in the Rockies. Not only are they migrating, but they play a major role as pollinators.  

“So, these moths in Billings might be from Colorado – might be from Canada as they are again making their way to the Rockies mountains where they are fed on by the thousands by grizzly bears and some other animals, but they are very important summer food for the grizzly bears,” he says  

He says they are a great source of protein and fat for the bears as they prepare for hibernation.  

You can read the rest of the story here. Travia Forte KULR 8 Reporter




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