Big Moth-- IN THE HOUSE!
May 15, 2014 10:51 PM   Subscribe

I've got a BIG MOTH in my house. It flew in via a space between my screen and window in my kitchen. It flew into my house somewhere--I can't find him now. ANY Ideas on luring it back through the hole?

I saw this old question but links have broken and there is no advice for getting it out of your house.
Should I try to spray it with something?
Am I going to have to slay this dragon with a flyswatter?
Is MOTHRA now my new Room-mate????
posted by calgirl to Home & Garden (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
It'll die on its own in three or four days. Just forget about it.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 11:05 PM on May 15, 2014 [8 favorites]

Yeah, ignore it. It's a moth.
posted by trip and a half at 11:15 PM on May 15, 2014 [2 favorites]

Turn off all your lights except for one, preferably in the room where you think it is. Aim the light on a (light-colored) wall.


If the moth is like most moths, eventually it'll be attracted to the light and will either beat itself relentlessly to death against the lightbulb (Darwin 1, moth 0), or it'll settle on the wall. In the latter case, you can take a tupperware tub or some other container, put it over the moth, then slide some paper or cardboard between the container and the moth, ending up with a captured moth. Release moth outside.

Or you can do what I do, which is leave the light on in a bathroom, go to bed, and let the cat sort it out.
posted by Kadin2048 at 11:17 PM on May 15, 2014 [11 favorites]

I would do the all lights out, one death light on scenario described above and then lie in wait to smash it with a slipper. Otherwise you could always just burn down your house and start a new life somewhere else without a hideous moth lurking.
posted by elizardbits at 11:21 PM on May 15, 2014 [34 favorites]

If you smash that moth, you're going to have an awful mess.

I'd turn off all the lights in the house and turn on a light outside near the hole in the screen by the kitchen window - even leave the screen open a bit with the light on outdoors.

He'll go outdoors eventually - although you might have to give him a light trail to follow to get there - one light at a time, etc.

But believe me, a smashed big moth is iiiiiiick.
posted by aryma at 11:25 PM on May 15, 2014 [3 favorites]

If ignoring it isn't going to work for you, and you have a dustbuster or a vacuum with an extendable hose, then all you have to do is find it and flip the switch.
posted by Dilligas at 11:33 PM on May 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

Light a flame. Wait for the moth to be burned by desire.
posted by roger ackroyd at 11:54 PM on May 15, 2014 [8 favorites]

There is absolutely no way that the moth poses any threat to you whatsoever, if that's any comfort! I hope you don't have to kill it, killing perfectly harmless creatures is a senseless waste if it can be avoided. Besides, as mentioned above, smashing a big moth is pretty gross.

If you're not comfortable just forgetting about it, I second using a single light to trap it in a tupperware and putting it outside, that should keep you from having to get too up close and personal with it but still get him out of the house ASAP.
posted by dialetheia at 11:56 PM on May 15, 2014 [5 favorites]

Oh, goodness, are you me? I feel your pain - even though I know they're harmless and it's totally irrational, I really can't stand moths in my house either. They have a nasty habit of sneaking up from behind you and then flying INTO YOUR FACE, which more than once has led me to actually scream!

I tend to do what Kadin2048 said above. Pick a room you're not going to be spending much time in - like, the spare bedroom or something - and leave that light on, and eventually it'll fly in there. I don't squish them, and I'd rather catch them and put them outside, but quite often I end up just leaving them in the room to flutter around and die, which makes me feel a bit bad.

Having said all this, I had a big, quite rare butterfly hibernate in my house over the winter, hanging on the ceiling, and I was totally fine with it. One evening, I came home, opened the door, and it flew outside!
posted by winterhill at 2:07 AM on May 16, 2014 [2 favorites]

Pretend it's a butterfly. Seriously! It may make you feel better about the situation.
posted by showbiz_liz at 6:25 AM on May 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

Thank you for your help!
I tried the "lead a moth to the light" suggestions, but apparently my house is a black hole in the Moth Universe.
After checking each room with lights off and using a focused flashlight, I was unable to located that moth again.
Believe me, I looked!

So, either Mr Moth flew out through another hole or I will someday find the mummified remains and freak out all over again!

I did get some sleep last night, so thank you for calming me down.
posted by calgirl at 8:05 AM on May 16, 2014 [5 favorites]

I gather that if it returns, you'd rather not kill it. I respect that. BUT... should you change your mind, you can hunt it down bug terminator style with an electric fly swatter like this one and it will basically zap the moth like an outdoor bug zapper and it will drop to the floor with no mess.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:48 AM on May 16, 2014 [2 favorites]

Seconding that electric fly swatters are wonderful and have a MUCH higher kill rate than other types of swatters. The only downside is the smell of singed stinkbug takes a while to dissipate...
posted by Jacqueline at 1:36 PM on May 16, 2014

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