Ephestia elutella

Our special guest today : Ephestia elutella (the tobacco moth)

Moth Notice the cute little antennas and the family resemblance with various roaches. It is, however, a moth. Which means that it produces caterpillars (sweet little things just crave dry stuff, such as rice, cereals, coffee beans, etc…), which create cocoons, and then cute little flying “butterflies”.

Yes, butterflies and moths fall into the same category, which is why I wasn’t overly worried by these insects. They do tend to multiply however, and apparently they fly during fall/winter, which is why they only appeared now.

Since they are pretty discreet (you only see a couple at a time), it is hard to see how advanced the invasion is. But the war was declared, so…

Back in the old days, the only solution was to strip everything down and fumigate. Then spend a week elsewhere to come back in a place hopefully free of the pests.

StickyBut Science has been there too. And scientists are vicious. Here’s their solution : a male-attracting pheromone mixed with glu on a paper. So the males, driven by the prospect of being loving fathers to 300+ critters per female, come and sniff the paper, to stay there, and die a horrible death, alone with their competitors (just imagine being stuck with your rivals!), while the females wait at home, knitting for something that will never happen… What a horrible tragedy.

Of course, it means I won the war, but what of the Geneva Convention?


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