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Moths Are Attacking Me As I Write This

April 26, 2012 at 9:21 pm

So this is slightly odd.  Not Tim Powers weird, but unusual nevertheless.

Everybody I know locally has been inundated with moths over the past week or so.  It's like The Swarm, but with moths instead of bees.  (Which is good.  I'm not so keen on the stinging.) 

It's getting so that I'm reluctant to turn on the lights at night.  The other night I went to brush my teeth and found close to a dozen moths fluttering around the bathroom.  No exaggeration.  And they're—

*Ian screams; ducks*

—quite enamored of the lamp in my writing office.

I'm not the only SF writer in New Mexico to notice it.  Vic Milan has posted about it, and so has my pinball sensei, Scott Phillips.  Seriously, the moths are everywhere.  And I try to be good about not killing them just for my own comfort.  Really I do.  I figure they're an important part of the ecosystem.  Or something.

But then one will brush my forehead after I've turned off the light to go to sleep, and then I remember their secret agenda to lay eggs in my eyeballs.  And then I start a-squashing*.

Which leads to dust.  Lots and lots of moth dust. 

Which reminds me of a conversation I had with the charming and erudite Serge Broom at a Bubonicon a few years passed.  We speculated about how much moth dust might have been produced if Godzilla had simply crushed Mothra.  It's hard not to wonder how many people would have been poisoned by the resulting dust plume.  Mothra is huge.

*I would not be squashing these things if they were luna moths.  They're large, but they're not that large.  I have seen luna moths around here, and they're really really cool.  Until I remember they're actually insects large enough for me to see their tongues from a distance.  Because eeeew.

[A quiet reminder: Bitter Seeds is now available in mass market paperback.]


Steve Halter April 27, 2012 at 12:40 pm
Moths were the favorite prey of one of our cats. He would immediately spot a moth on the wing and was quite good at snatching them out of the air. Apparently, moth dust is quite tasty.
charliegreenberry April 27, 2012 at 11:01 pm
We have the moth hordes in Portales too, which is just so unfortunate because they really take away from the natural beauty of this place. Give me a duststorm over a bunch of moths any day. I wasn't freaked out about them, really I wasn't, until a friend said one flew into her husband's friend's ear. (Yes, I realize we are entering the realm of heresay here.) Now I'm a little nervous.
Ian April 27, 2012 at 11:12 pm
I once knew a kitten who would do that, too, Steve. It's sort of amazing when they snatch them right out of the air and munch on them. You're the second person today to get me thinking seriously about getting a cat. I've been dithering for a while. The moth issue might decide it for me. CGB: it's bad enough when they fly past my ears close enough for me to hear the thrum of their wings. How much worse would it be with the moth in my ear canal? The inescapable sounds of insectile panic, and then the eerie transition to chewing noises... I'm still more worried about waking up with eggs in my eyeballs.
Alex April 28, 2012 at 10:12 am
Still better than the annual tarantula hatching and migration from the garage through my basement bedroom to get to the great outdoors. Every spring for 4 years I suffered through the tarantula uprising. I'll take moths anyday.
Ian April 28, 2012 at 10:30 am
Holy. Shit. I would rather take Mothra than a tarantula migration through my bedroom. All joking aside, I honestly think that would drive me insane by actualizing one of my worst phobias. You are made of sterner stuff than I!
Tengland April 28, 2012 at 10:37 pm
Spiders, tarantulas, too, probably, eat moths. A bonanza in the moth population leads to an increase in the spider population. It all works out.
Ian April 28, 2012 at 11:22 pm
Thanks, Terry. What a comforting thought...
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