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Our Friend The Moth

By Aaron Howell

Rashes, irritation, and itching, oh my! These brown tail moths sure seem to be quite a nuisance! But put down that can of insect repellent for just a second-- a deeper dive shows that we might just want to reconsider our plans of great moth destruction.

Moths are important pollinators: Just like their more attractive cousins the butterflies, moths play an important role in pollination of plants. Without moths, our flowers would not survive long- and that’s not something any of us wish for.

Moths are a food source: Moths are an important source of calories for our avian friends, the birds. The average bird will eat well over three caterpillars in its lifetime. We can all recognize the beauty of birds, and none of us would wish for them to go hungry. In addition, it seems like spiders might be able to eat moths, and we all know how important spiders are.

Moths might be a superfood: Caterpillars are chock full of protein and healthy fats, not to mention the fact that 100 grams of caterpillar contains more than 100% of the daily requirement of iron, calcium, potassium, and zinc! We shouldn’t be killing the brown tail moths- we should be eating them!

Moths are expensive to get rid of: It was mentioned in the annual meeting that about $300 was spent in moth plugs to get them out of our trees- money which could have been better spent on a sick R/C monster truck or saved to put towards a minidozer.

So the next time you see a brown tail moth, recall some of these amazing facts and realize that you should let it live!

Published July 5, 2021