winter moths

By - 11/24/14 - 7:40 am

Jennifer Forman Orth, our go-to guru for invasive species, predicts:

With temps expected to be in the 60s today, we're probably going to see a big emergence of winter moths today/tonight.

And just in time for the emergence of zillions of sex-crazed male moths (the females all just laze about on trees, awaiting suitors), the state has posted its winter-moth survey for you to report the presence of these bugs.

By - 11/19/13 - 8:04 am

Almost anybody who's had a porch lit after dark the past couple of days has gotten to see our annual infestation of male winter moths (for, as you recall, the female winter moths don't fly and just calmly wait their light-mad suitors).

The state is conducting a winter-moth survey to try to gauge the extent of these invasive pests.

By - 12/2/12 - 5:52 pm

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.

By - 12/5/11 - 8:14 am

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.

By - 8/18/06 - 5:46 pm

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.

By - 12/29/05 - 7:36 pm

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.

How many are out there? Childs said, "Probably billions."