July 20-28 is National Moth Week!

The last week in July is National Moth Week! It's a whole week devoted to learning about and observing the different species of moths. Scientists estimate there are 150,000 to more than 500,000 species of moths, and there are quite a few that call the state of Missouri home. To celebrate National Moth Week, here are the different species that are found in Missouri.

Cecropia Moth

Cecropia Moth
These moths may look like butterflies, but they have stout, hairy bodies and feathery antennae. The body is red with a white collar and white bands on the abdomen. From above, the overall color of the wings are dark brown or gray, with a reddish patch at the base of each forewing. The Larvae are large and bluish-green.

Banded Tiger Moth
The adults usually rest with the wings held over their bodies or flat out to the sides. The forewings are mostly black with cream-colored marking and the hindwings usually have reddish marking and a broad black border. You'll usually see them at night congregating around lights. They also hang out around fields, lawns, parks, disturbed areas in both rural and urban settings.

Black & Yellow Lichen Moth
Adults are black with a bluish sheen. The front portion of their wings are a vivid yellow, orange or red and the back portion is black. Unlike other moths, this species flies during the day. The larvae feed on lichen, which are the crusty, sponge-like or moss-like composites of fungi and algae that commonly grow on tree bark and rocks. Their cocoons are hairy and are attached to objects near the lichen that the caterpillar fed upon.

Gypsy Moth Catepillar

Gypsy Moth
This species is extremely destructive and have been found sporadically across the state of Missouri, but no infestation s are known to occur in the state so far. The Gypsy moth was introduced from Europe in the late 1860s, and many Eastern states have severe infestation causing millions of dollars in damages to deciduous forests and shade trees.

Black Bordered Lemon Moth
As their name suggests, these moths are yellow and their wings have a black edge. There are usually two dark dots on each forewing. The larvae are known to feed on grass and morning glory families.

Io Moth
Adults commonly rest with wings flattened out to the sides and over their backs. However, when the forewings are apart, they reveal the hindwings that each feature a single large, prominent, blue and black eyespot. Forewing color is different in males and females. Males are generally yellowish while females are more brown, rusty red or purple. In addition, females are usually larger than males.

Isabella Tiger Moth
The larvae of this species are better known than the adults. They are called woolly bears or woolly worms. They're fuzzy with dense, stiff hairs. They're usually black on the ends of the body and rusty red or brownish in the middle. Folklore has long maintained that the varying widths of the caterpillar's band can predict the harshness of the next winter.

Luna Moth

Luna Moth
The overall color of the Luna Moth is a pale or lime green with dark leading the edge on the forewings, and a long, tapering tail on the hindwings. Each of the four wings has an eyespot. Luna Moth larvae feed on the foliage of walnut, hickory, persimmon and sweet gum trees. However, adults don't eat at all and only live about a week.

Leaf Folder Moth
Adults are black with bold white markings. These pests take up residence in vineyards, and have over the years caused considerable damage to Missouri's grape crop, affecting the state's wine industry.

Painted Lichen Moth
The forewings are red-orange with dark gray stripes. The orange color is more yellow the closer to the head. The bright colors announce the presence of inedible chemicals in their bodies, so many predators have learned to avoid moths with those colors.

Plume Moth

Plume Moths
The Plume Moths are instantly recognizable by their T-shaped silhouette and muted shades of tan and brown. At rest, the moths hold their wings tightly rolled, but when they're spread, the deeply cleft slits in the wing margins create the feathery plumes are visible. These moths are slim and delicate looking with a long thin abdomen and long fragile legs.

Polyphemus Moth
Similarly to the Cecropia Moth, these species look like butterflies. The base color varies greatly, as some are brown or tan while others are bright reddish-brown. However, all have a small eyespot in the center of the forewing and a very large eyespot in the middle of the hindwing.

Yellow Collared Scape Moth
The adults have black forewings and hindwings (usually covered by the forewings) that are translucent in the middle. The body is all black except the bright orange (sometimes yellow) collar. There are only 3 species of scape moths in North America.

How many of these moths have you seen? This week, take some time to observe the moths around your home. Any type of light will attract moths, so just leave a porch light on and wait and see what comes! While these insects are interesting, we don't want them making themselves at home in our home. If these pests find their way into your home, call Best Pest Control at the Lake of the Ozarks at 573-348-1600. Our technicians are trained to get rid of all pests affecting Central Missouri!


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