Large moths in small spaces.

Mark Walker mwalker at
Wed Aug 5 10:50:02 EDT 1998

Leo wrote:

>I am curious about how large moths apparently manage to get through
>small spaces.
>I live in the Rocky Mountains of central Colorado where each summer we
>are visited by a multitude of moths locally known as "Millers".  Don't
>know whether they migrate in, or they are born here, and that would be
>another interesting question.
>Of great interest to me -- and of great unhappiness to many others -- is
>this moth's apparent ability to either fly through building materials
>such as wood, and glass, or Houdini like, to squeeze themselves through
>spaces considerably smaller than themselves.
>I have done a lot of experimentation in my home by carefully closing off
>all 'known' entry sources, yet this creature, much larger that many
>other smaller insects who can't find a way in, manage to come in almost
>at will.
>Is there any reason to think that they have particular abilities to
>enter places where other insects are prohibited?
>I would appreciate any thoughts.

Hmmmm.  I'll add to Eric Metzler's off-the-cuff comments.  First of all, why
are these moths referred to as Millers?  Sounds like they might be able to
bore into wood as larvae.  Secondly, and this is just an extension of the
first point, is there any reason to question whether they are in fact
entering as larvae and pupating indoors?  My problem with the idea that the
moth is squeezing indoors as an adult is that this doesn't seem to fit their
design (relatively flat as they may be).  Still, if they really wanted to
get in, they wouldn't need much of an opening.

Now would be a good time for someone with some real insight to step in...

Mark Walker
Castleton, VT

More information about the Leps-l mailing list