Flying “Brown Moths” Near Flowering Trees

Lots of questions about the “brown moths” that have been very active around sunset across several central Illinois towns this week. These are armyworm moths. Armyworm moths migrate from the south each spring. They mate and lay eggs in grass and weedy areas. Primarily agricultural pests, their offspring feed in corn, wheat, and other plants. The larvae progress through several larval stages before pupating and emerging (what everyone is seeing now). We generally have 2-3 generations of this insect pest in Illinois. They primarily feed on grasses, but you might see them on a few vegetables. Adults feed on nectar of various flowers.