Monday, October 12, 2015

The Hated Clothes Moth

Life is dense and heavy with dichotomic conflict: enjoying laziness versus working for money to buy food to stave off hunger; desiring casual sex versus getting mired in other people's lives; wanting to be well informed versus struggling with depression. Even our best escapist literature cannot feature an effortless Utopia but centers on conflict, demonstrating that misery and suffering are what make life interesting to others.

My most recent conflict involves loving my beautiful Irish sweaters versus the habitat and diet of moths. I have one fisherman's sweater that I think was picked up as a souvenir for me, though the label swears it was made in Ireland. I have two other sweaters that I obtained myself, a smooth, subdued green one from County Cork and a gorgeous, gray, coarse cable-knit sweater handmade in Killarney. The green sweater has tiny little holes all over it and the gray one has a quarter-sized hole right over my belly. These are from moths (whether webbing moths, casemaking moths, I don't really care). The worsted wool of the green sweater made it easy to identify the off-color silken sacs in which the moth larvae were cocooning, easy to pick these off and crush them with savory vengeance.

Here's the son of a bitch.
Today I was sitting at my desk at work, wearing my fisherman's sweater, and I noticed a pale spot on my black jeans. It was less of a spot, after focusing on it, and more a cylinder, and it was writhing. Rather than freak out and shriek and swat it away, I used the crappy camera on my smartphone to obtain as clear an image as possible. Then I mashed it in a Kleenex and danced on it before throwing it in the trash.

I'll save a bee's life, I'll spare spiders and centipedes, but when I saw that moth larva writhing on my jeans, having fallen by sheer luck from my sweater, I swore I would study the best information available to kill and prevent moths.

I plundered several websites: eco-responsible consumer blogs, New York Times and Guardian articles, and university reports. Now I know much more about the environments these little bastards find favorable, as well as how to end them and repel the pests. And since I have this information, I thought I should share it with everyone.