Sunday, 13 May 2012

Still among the diddy moths

Sorry to test the patience of my expert readers, but here's another micro moth in the absence of anything of greater interest in the trap. This one was on the tiled wall of our loo and its silvery livery prompted immediate cashmere-based fears that it might be one of the very small number of UK clothes-munching species. (It's the caterpillars which munch, not the moths. Still they are relatives).

I think that for once I've managed to show how tiny these creatures are, thanks to the moth agreeing to be transferred from the wall on the advice leaflet for my new iPhone - a work bonus which I've given in the optimistic hope that I will be able to make films. Actually, this is surprisingly easy with the help of YouTube and I may carry out some of my training here. Get ready for some exciting movies of sleeping moths...

Once the coming British Wildlife Publishing Bible on micro-moths is out, I promise to try to work out what these creatures are. But for now, I'm stumped. btw Penny is keen to add that the even tinier speck below the Biro and pad in the bottom picture isn't a micro-micro-moth. It's a mini-stalk of mustard (as in mustard and cress).

Update: Uh-oh as the Tellytubbies used to say; Samuel Millar in Comments confirms that this is indeed one of the (VERY few) moth baddies: a White-shouldered house moth or Endrosis sarcitrella.  Nice to have a micro with a 'common name' in English, which somehow makes them more accessible. This one is no longer accessible, however, as it got caught up in our washing up and went down the plug. Not intentionally on our part, I swear.  


SamuelMillar153 said...

Batten down the hatches sir - it is indeed a clothes moth! A rather worn-looking White-shouldered House Moth, Endrosis sarcitrella.

Hope the movie-making goes well!


MartinWainwright said...

Thanks very much Sam(uel) Bad news, but much appreciated

It got caught up in the washing up and is no more...

all v best


Stokelymort said...

Re-siting our clothes wardrobes recently, and have seen three of these little diddy's in last two days. Do I need 'concerned' or to take any remedial action!

MartinWainwright said...

Hi Stokelymort!


At least if you have nice sweaters, especially cashmere.

The best answer to avoiding moth holes is: wear all your clothes regularly. It's the stashed-away ones they go for. But there are also various preventative sachets etc, some organic and others chemical. loads on Google about them.

Don't do nothing..!

all warm wishes (wearing my favourite sweater)


MartinWainwright said...

PS: Penny recommends sprigs of rosemary or bay leaves or other strongly-scented plants, which put the moths and their caterpillars off. Also, don't leave unwashed sweaters etc in laundry baskets long, cos the larvae REALLY like unwashed stuff...

all best M