Attack of the giant grey moth

th-72Well, God concluded one of our hardest weeks with a little comic relief. We were folding clothes and chatting when a large winged creature flew in through the open kitchen window last night and started flapping around on the floor. I immediately thought it was a small bird, like a wren or sparrow, but on closer examination, I realized it was a moth — undoubtedly the largest moth I had ever seen.

We’ve had birds in the house before, and the first time that happened I called animal control to come out and remove it. That amounted to taking a broom and “ushering” it out the nearest open window. I concluded that I could do that, and took care of subsequent feathered friend visitations myself.

But this was different. This was a moth, and I hate moths. It may be their ghostlike eyes, or their wormy bodies (they’re like flying maggots to me) or their dirty, dusty wings that leave dark blotches wherever you try and swat them, but I find all moths generally disgusting. Earlier this year I waged a week-long war with tiny pantry moths until I found they had established a small colony under the shelves in our pantry and I could finally eradicate them. Maybe this was those little guys fighting back by sending in the big uncle.

The odd thing is that my wife, Marti, has no fear of moths. This is true for spiders as well. I have to call her in for spider removal. So Marti immediately and calmly took over this situation. She went into the pantry and came back out with the dustbuster.

Now we use the dustbuster for lots of insects in our house. I used it exclusively for the pantry moths although I had to leave the dustbuster outside overnight because it has lost the little rubber flap that keeps stuff in, and I noticed that little moths that survived the initial suction would eventually crawl back out.

“It’s too big,” I said when I saw her wielding the miniature vacuum. “It will never fit in there! You’ll just make it mad and it will eventually dive-bomb me!” I swear this thing had an 8-inch wingspan. Marti only cast an incredulous look my way and proceeded to slide the dustbuster up to the ugly thing that was now sitting on our counter, and “Thwump!” it was sucked right up. No mess; no attack.

“Don’t turn it off!” I screamed, fearing it would fly right back out and get me. “Here, I’ll take it outside.”

Making sure to keep the dustbuster sucking, she gingerly handed it over and I took it out back and set it on the fence about 20 feet away from the house and ran quickly back inside.

“Where’s the dustbuster?” Marti said when she saw me come back in without it.

“I’m not going to let that thing crawl out in the house!” I said. “If he gets out, he’ll just fly away.”

“Or fly back in and get you!” she taunted. The thought gave me shudders.

“Maybe I should put it farther away from the house,” I said.

“Nonsense,” said Marti. “Why don’t you just empty it out in the trash can?”

“And risk it flying in my face? Nothing doing. I’ll be sure it’s dead before I do that.”

It occurred to me that our problems this week were in some way represented by that moth. Moths are usually small and manageable — certainly nothing to fear — but sometimes, like our problems, they can get out of hand. That’s when we need others to come to our rescue, even if it is just to have a shoulder to cry on. We can’t vacuum our troubles away, but someone else can stand with us and listen, and pray. That’s what our prayer warriors are here for. Don’t hesitate to call on them.

I decided to see if there was an official name for the fear of moths as in arachnophobia, which is fear of spiders, and sure enough there is: mottephobia. If you happen to be mottephobic, I encourage you to make sure you have a dustbuster handy. Better yet, I saw in a catalogue once a special hand-held insect vacuum that traps the little buggers in an inner chamber where they can’t get out. I’m going to have to get me one of those.

 

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8 Responses to Attack of the giant grey moth

  1. Mark Seguin says:

    Big thx 4 the very good chuckles I got from today’s Catch – I particularly enjoyed this: ““Where’s the dustbuster?” Marti said when she saw me come back in without it. “I’m not going to let that thing crawl out in the house!” I said. “If he gets out, he’ll just fly away.”
    “Or fly back in and get you!” she taunted. The thought gave me shudders. me too Pastor John, yet it’s hilarious too! LOL 🙂

  2. authentism says:

    http://entomology.unl.edu/k12/caterpillars/hornworm/hornwormpage.html
    Hello from Pleasanton, John. Your moth appears to be a Tomato Hookworm Moth, also know as a sphinx moth. Harmless of course, unless you grow tomatoes! It’s pupa looks like a cigar butt in the soil. Another one of God’s marvelous creatures. Terry Greenaway

  3. Mark Seguin says:

    Also so sorry you’ve had ‘one of our hardest weeks’ – Glad to know the prayers warriors are able to help…

  4. I’ve always felt sorry for moths – the unadorned cousins to butterflies – and am somewhat empathetic to them, too.
    While the majestic butterfly captivates the eyes of its beholder, gently winging its way across our yards and lush landscapes, and eventually migrating to the warmer exotic climes of the south… the lowly moth flits about – mostly in the dark – drawn to any source of light and, oftentimes, gets singed, swatted, or snared in a spiderweb, or gobbled up by a predator of the night.
    I can relate to that poor moth!
    The moth is considered to be a destructive nuisance and unspectacular pest and yet, as Terry described above, the moth is: “Another one of God’s marvelous creatures.”
    I thank God that I can relate to that as well…

    “Look at the birds of the air – and moths and butterflies; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” ~ Matthew 6:26

    “…not one of them [sparrow, moth, or butterfly] will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care… So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows – or moths or butterflies.” ~ Matthew 10:29-31

  5. Linda from Texas says:

    Well, this morning I had one of these huge moths trapped in my screen porch. Every morning I go out for “moth rescue” and feel so good when they fly free again outside. Now that moth doesn’t know I cared about him – I just did it. How many times does God save us from something bad and we’re not aware of it. “who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.” I’m so happy He’ll be rescuing me until then.

  6. kevinm1957 says:

    Moth’s? Them thar other folks that we often don’t want to associate with as they just aren’t what we think people should be? Hmmmmmmm, think there might be a different “sermon” in here somewhere……..Just sayin……..

  7. Dean says:

    sounds more like a chance for a David and Goliath sermon where John doesn’t quite pull off the role of David against the Goliath moth…

  8. Frank White says:

    Shame, they are great pollinators. I found one in my kitchen this morning and a search of what it is led me here. Unfortunately ours has a damaged wing so cant fly. It is a beautiful thing I don’t know why people that weigh 1,000 times it have such paranoia. They are a huge benefit to the ecosystem.

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