I don’t know about you but the fact that the sun sets so early has been confusing my internal clock. I’ve been taking longer to adjust, so several days ago when I got home from work in the dark and clicked on the light switch in the
kitchen, it took me several minutes to realize something wasn’t right. There was a fluttering and a movement that I don’t normally see inside my house. . . Moths. The kitchen had moths fluttering around, walking on cabinets and sitting on the walls and fridge. I was horrified. I love animals, insects, moths. . . but I really do not like it when they are in my house. And I especially do not like to be surprised.
Where were they coming from? Everyday I
would come home from work and there would be more. Moths are insects and have a relatively quick lifecycle, but I had never experienced what that looked like in my life. Before seeing the effects of a few moths grow and grow and grow into many moths in my kitchen, it was just numbers on a page. Numbers like: the adult female moth can lay from 100-400 eggs and in a week those eggs can hatch into larva. That is a lot of baby moths!
And as larva they are voracious eaters. Not all moths are able to eat when they are an adult, so much of the eating that a moth does is as a larva. The larva will eat clothes, fabric, fruit, vegetables, and other foods. They can live as larva for up to 2.5 years (which is a very long time to be consistently eating things in my closet). However, when the temperature is right they will form a cocoon to transform into an adult moth. The adult moth is ready to come out of the cocoon in 8-10 days and fly away to make more moths!
This can definitely be a challenge when you have a moth infestation on your hands. . . But in their natural habitat and the larger food chain they have an important role as a pollinator and a food source for many animals. While it may seem that moths have an incredibly short lifecycle, moths as a species have been around for thousands and millions of years. Fossil evidence of moth-like ancestors go back 190 million years ago! That is pretty incredible to think about. I still prefer to see moths outside and not in my kitchen, but I definitely have to respect their will to live and the incredible survival techniques that they have!