When recalling common superstitions around bugs, it wouldn’t be surprising if moths were one of the first to come to mind. From being a sign of personal transformation to being feared as a bad omen, the moth can evoke a variety of emotions in any home it flutters its way into.
A relative to the butterfly, the usually gray or brown moth isn’t known for a gorgeous display of wing colors and patterns, which could be one reason for all the superstition. In addition, they have scales on their wings and feathery antennae. Combine their general appearance with the fact that moths are nocturnal creatures that take flight at night, and you don’t have to wonder why they cause a fright!
However, moths play an important role in our ecosystem. Adult moths and their caterpillars serve as a food source to a variety of other species, including amphibians, bats, mammals, and many birds. They are also sensitive to changes in the environment, so monitoring the scale of their presence can clue us into the impacts of climate change, air pollution, and farming practices.
Furthermore, when they take flight at night moths are seeking nectar and pollinating flowers. Many of our most beautiful wildflowers and most profitable plants benefit from moth pollination. A recent study published by The Royal Society Publishing found that moths have a substantial role in pollination duties, and even pollinate some flowers that are not often visited by bees.
The study suggests that their hairy bellies greatly help in transporting pollen. And because there are 160,000 species of moths in the world and only 17,500 species of butterfly, we can’t discredit the positive contributions moths make to our global ecosystem.
The next time a moth finds its way inside your home, don’t get spooked. Consider them nocturnal assistants to Mother Nature who simply made a wrong turn on their way to helping plants grow.
At Mosquito Squad. we care about our ecosystem and recognize the significant impact pollinators play within it. Click here to learn more about our environmental commitment.