Thursday, March 22, 2012

Montly, Mothly (for Monthly)

Someone posted a message today announcing that "April is School Library Moth." While that surely should have been Month, I'm of two minds about moths. On the one hand, they produce one of my all-time favorite fibers, especially when it comes to long underwear: silk. On the other hand, I'm overcome with murderous intent whenever I see one or two of their relatives flitting around my kitchen cupboards. Pantry moths (also known as "grain moths," "flour moths," "Indianmeal moths," and "miller moths") are often brought into the house by way of bulk grains, birdseed, pet food, etc., and once you've got 'em, these little buggers are notoriously hard to get rid of. There are pheromone traps and chemical insecticides marketed for this purpose, but if the traps only seem to make things worse, or you simply seek a more natural solution, you might want to try something called Diatomaceous Earth. Other household pests are also no match for this dusty substance, "a naturally occurring, soft, siliceous sedimentary rock that is crumbled into a fine white to off-white powder" and that slices their tiny disgusting feet to smithereens. Too bad we can't just sprinkle some in our catalogs to keep them forever free of typos, although that might not be a bad idea when it comes to dealing with bookworms and other kinds of creepy-crawlies that like to eat our print collections. There were five cases of Montly (for monthly) in OhioLINK and 288 in WorldCat. (There were no instances of Mothly found in the former, but we caught 24 of them in the latter.)

(Caterpillar larva of Antheraea polyphemus, the Polyphemus moth, one of the giant silkworm moths, photographed in Connecticut, September 2011, from Wikimedia Commons.)

Carol Reid

No comments: