Monday, June 04, 2018

Watch your wine cellar!

From year end to year end, at least one of my windows is never shut, so I get visitors. Mostly, they're spiders. Sometimes they're spider food.

This week's specialty, besides the love-lorn spiders, has been a flock of tiny, caped moths.

White-shouldered moth, Endrosis sarcitrella, 1/4 inch long.

These moths are members of the curved-horn family, so named for those two cute "horns", which are not horns at all, but sensory mouth-parts. They are common in houses, year-round. (Our nicely heated houses are good places for the youngsters to spend the winter.)

The females lay up to 200 eggs at a time in food. Human food: the grubs eat grains, dried fruit, potatoes, wool, wine corks ...

From BugGuide: Can be a damaging pest in some areas, particularly to wine cellars, where the larvae bore into the corks and ruin the wine... unless you like Tequila :-).

The adults, in spite of those prominent mouthparts, do not eat, and live only about a month. The larva is a small, white grub with a red head. I haven't seen any here, and I keep my cereals, etc, in closed canning jars, so the prospective moth mothers are out of luck. Unless they find that bottle of wine.


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