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Old 05-12-2009, 07:01 AM
 
Location: In a city
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I'm just wondering how bad are the miller moths in Wyoming? I know the year I lived there they seemed to be out in droves, but is this a yearly nuisance or is it worse some years than others? Are they the kind of moths that eat clothing/wool, or are they just a pesky flutterer?

Is there any problem with other insects such as Asian beetles or grasshoppers on trees or gardens?

What about snakes, spiders, biting ants, or scorpions? Has anyone had any problems with these in or around their homes?


<shudder> just not a creepy-crawly lover by any means.
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Old 05-12-2009, 11:55 AM
 
Location: Wyoming
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Miller moths seem to come in cycles, but it may have more to do with the weather in the midwest in preceding years. Some years they're absolutely horrible, and other years we hardly see any. Last summer there weren't too many. I think they're just flutterers. When my (two) cats were younger, I was afraid to leave them home during moth season, because they'd follow them everywhere -- window valances, the tops of my doors, lamp shades -- and they'd be after them at about 90 mph.

I'm not much of a gardner. Smaller trees should be sprayed now and then, but I'll let someone else answer that one. Hoppers aren't usually too bad, at least nothing like they used to be on our farm in Kansas 50 years ago.

We have our house sprayed inside and out every few years for pests and don't have a problem. Rattlers could be a problem in certain areas of the county, but I've only seen one in town, and that was 35 years ago. Scorpions are pretty rare.

Here's some previous posts on the subject:link
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Old 05-13-2009, 06:57 AM
 
Location: Sheridan
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The thread that was linked is pretty good. Most of the millers/moths at least in this part of the state are harmless (although the millers will get into everything, usually they're not bad though). I'm no entomologist but most of the millers you see around here I believe come from tent caterpillars and webworms. Out on the ranch we used to live on you'd see their webs everywhere in the chokecherry bushes. In which case they only live for a few days at the most in their adult/moth phase (basically long enough to mate and lay eggs and make some bat fat and happy ).

Grasshoppers, depends on the year. Some years you walk through the fields and its just a rolling wave ahead of you, others you can hardly find enough grass hoppers to go fishing with!

Snakes - depends, there is obviously going to be fewer if you're the town living type. If you're out in the country expect to run into garter snakes (completely harmless, you'd be hard pressed to get one to bite you. We used to fish them out of the swimming pool nearly every day), bull snakes (non-venomous but can have an attitude. Often they'll rattle their tail against leaves and whatever is on the ground and sound exactly like a rattle snake but they have no rattles on their tail. They're good guys though), and rattle snakes (if you stumble across one just steer clear and go on your way).

We have our share of spiders around here, everything from wolf spiders to funnel web spiders (one of the neatest things is during the spring and summer you could go out in the fields and spaced about 1-2ft apart were funnel web spiders, covering entire hay fields). If you're a gardener you'll probably find some crab spiders and jumping spiders if you look close enough. Really small guys, they'll help eat the pests in your garden though. Crab spiders will usually be perched inside of a flower bloom.

Ants - we have plenty of ants. You usually don't have to go very far to find an ant mound in this country. Most of them aren't the super aggressive type that I've heard of in other places. Most of them are just destructive little beasts. Eating fence posts, eating trees, but they're usually easily enough to get rid of until a new colony starts up.

Scorpions - Until just a few weeks ago I've lived my entire life out in the country, working and living on a ranch. And I've yet to find a scorpion. Maybe I just never looked in the right places, I didn't go around turning over rocks too often because that's where the rattle snakes like to live. In all my years and 1,000's of miles I've walked out in the country here I've never seen one. And I'm usually the one trying to find the bugs because they're neat to photograph!

So we have our bugs, the vast VAST majority of them aren't an issue, and I'm betting compared to what you're used to it'll seem like there is hardly any bugs the majority of the time.
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Old 05-13-2009, 09:11 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dinowy View Post
So we have our bugs, the vast VAST majority of them aren't an issue, and I'm betting compared to what you're used to it'll seem like there is hardly any bugs the majority of the time.
I also understand the fleas and ticks are less of a problem above about 3000 ft. I can't remember where I heard or read that, so don't hold me to it - but if it is the case, it's a boon for pet owners.
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Old 05-13-2009, 09:33 AM
 
Location: In a city
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We have wood ticks in droves right now.. usually through June and mosquitoes in abundance due to the very wet climate in Minnesota. I actually didn't remember that many mosquitoes when I lived in Lander..not like here.

Thanks for the info and words of wisdom. I'm not a big fan of insects or arachnids in general. The wolf spiders here look like mini-tarantulas, but I think my cat would love miller hunting

Incidentally, if hiking in the mountains do locals carry a gun to shoot snakes with, just in case? Should a hiker carry a snake-bite kit?
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Old 05-13-2009, 09:36 AM
 
Location: Sheridan
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Originally Posted by FiveHorses View Post
I also understand the fleas and ticks are less of a problem above about 3000 ft. I can't remember where I heard or read that, so don't hold me to it - but if it is the case, it's a boon for pet owners.
I don't know about that, the ticks were pretty bad some years out on the ranch we lived on. There was some years that if you went for a walk outside it was a pretty safe bet you would have at least one tick on you, if not several. Of course they're worse wherever there is tall grass. I guess a friend of mine has been having some terrible problems with ticks and her horse this year too.

Fleas, I personally have never had trouble with fleas and all my pets [dogs and cats] were inside/outside animals. However, the rabbits [wild rabbits] were always crawling with fleas. Many people around here hunt them and you usually have to wait until a good string of hard cold weather so the fleas aren't so bad on them .

This area used to be great for pet owners because many of the very common pet related parasites just weren't here[ie heartworm]. However, that is becoming less and less the case. Taking heartworm for example (which is spread by mosquitoes), most vets in the state didn't even test for it, for that matter most vets in the state still don't test for it because it just didn't exist here. I heard a statistic that in the past 20 years the vets in the area had treated a total of 11 cases - all in dogs that had picked it up elsewhere.

However, not so much anymore. In fact I had to get one of my dogs treated last year for heartworms, he was the first case in the county for the year. A few months after while talking to the vet he had confirmed several other cases after ours. It popping up in other counties as well, places that had never HEARD of heartworm before. Talking with my vet he said he used to feel bad charging people for a fecal screening to look for parasites because he never found anything. Now he's finding parasites all the time.

Kinda tangent to the whole bug question but Wyoming is becoming less and less of a safe haven as far as pet parasites that it once was .
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Old 05-13-2009, 09:57 AM
 
Location: Sheridan
76 posts, read 146,595 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Froggie Legs View Post
We have wood ticks in droves right now.. usually through June and mosquitoes in abundance due to the very wet climate in Minnesota. I actually didn't remember that many mosquitoes when I lived in Lander..not like here.

Thanks for the info and words of wisdom. I'm not a big fan of insects or arachnids in general. The wolf spiders here look like mini-tarantulas, but I think my cat would love miller hunting

Incidentally, if hiking in the mountains do locals carry a gun to shoot snakes with, just in case? Should a hiker carry a snake-bite kit?
I've never been to Minnesota before so I'm not sure what the mosquitoes are like back there (though, I've heard they're absolutely terrible). Around here as long as you take care of anything that has standing water they're typically not that bad. During the summers up on the mountains here (Big Horns) they can darn near pack you off in the evenings but that's just because there are a lot of areas they can breed up there with all the marshes and boggy areas and since its a little cooler up there as well. Down here in the lower elevations they don't tend to be nearly as bad - too dry and hot for them unless they have a pond or some other stagnant water close by to breed.

If one was worried about snakes while hiking I'd get some good heavy leather boots and a pair of good snake gators (leggings that cover your lower legs and made of a material that a snake can't bite through). Of course it never hurts to carry a pistol with you but snake gators will protect you from the snake you didn't know was there a lot more than a pistol will .
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Old 05-13-2009, 10:22 AM
 
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
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I have to agree about the mosquitos. The first summer we lived in Wyomng we went camping along the Green River west of....the town by the same name and they tried taking my mom to be their feast for the summer. We quickly learned that if you are going to be near water, day or night, take repellant. I only say this because my mom ended up with 3 bites that literally got infected and took 3 years to clear up. It was one thing I could appreciate about moving a bit west and south to Utah, that at least they only try taking me home at night instead of 24/7 it seemed--and it was only this way in unpopulated areas it seemed. and it wasn't standing water, it was an actual river, so I'd be sort of prepared.

Snakes-lived in town so didnt have to worry bout them. I probably would have fainted because I absolutely hate them.

Spiders--Some are good, some are bad, just watch out for the ones that can cause serious damage to humans. But given they eat other pests, I figure mother nature has her way of making the food chain even.

Ants-we always had some form of ants in our yard but as long as they stayed outside we never had an issue with them.
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Old 05-13-2009, 11:18 AM
 
Location: Lawton, OK
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Well my run-ins with pests and venomous creatures have been much less frequent since I've been in a semi-arid, high altitude climate. I'm originally from NC, where you have brown recluse spiders, black widows, rattlesnakes, water moccasins and copperheads in great abundance. Here in Wyoming (and also when I lived in western Nebraska and North Dakota) I've only run upon the occasional prairie rattlesnake and wood spider (which are HUGE but are harmless, and eat more dangerous spiders among other pests)

I always take a gun with me on hiking trips, I don't own a snake bite kit, but I should probably invest in one. I shot and killed two rattlers last year hiking in the wildcat hills, it's a freak thing..usually rattlers are timid, but you can never be too careful.

Mosquitoes are only a problem around major water sources, other than that it's no big deal. Ants are everywhere, no end in sight you just have to deal with them. Ticks & fleas? I have yet to find any on my dog, and I check her every day..so that's a good sign

Creepy-crawlies and fangs and stingers are everywhere...they hurt and they help, we just have to co-exist as peacefully as possible.
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Old 07-22-2009, 08:28 PM
 
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Ok. Is the consensus that there are some big freakin spiders in Wyoming? Cheyenne? Wolf spiders?Seem to be getting conflicting reports. Please help answer this question. Thank you
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