Gah! Kidlet had to provide cover on the porch tonight when we came back from the supermarket - she had to fight the little buggers off as I opened the front door.
All those winter moths you see flying around are males. The females have only stubby little vestigial wings and patiently wait in trees for their suitors to come calling. One, however, jumped on Jef Taylor, and he provides the photographic proof.
Pazzo Books in Roslindale is offering a $5 credit to the first person who brings in a female adult cankerworm.
You may know them better as winter moths - except that it's the males that fly around en masse in winter, since the females are wingless and pretty much sit around waiting to get serviced so that they can then pop out roughly 89 trillion gazillion bazillion eggs, all of which hatch in the spring and then commit suicide in our pool.
I went out for takeout tonight and the winter moths were EVERYWHERE. Feh! But as bad as they were tonight, look for really gross conditions this spring as their caterpillars hatch, eat all the leaves on every tree around and then drop to the ground, gorged beyond belief and ready to pupate. Just like last spring, only worse. Where'd they come from? Europe, from which they probably hitched a ride on some unsuspecting cargo ship or plane a few years ago.
The University of Massachusetts's winter moth fact sheet has plenty of fun facts, such as: Female moths don't fly, but instead attract the winged males to their boudoirs with plenty of moth perfume.