It’s time to declare war on moths

A battle that even die-hard vegans could get behind

Andrew Jameson

This is not how 'A Bug's Life' was supposed to endJOSCH 13

Cambridge is a stressful place what with the ever-present workload, the crippling sense of inadequacy and, of course, the moths.

More accurately the moth infestation, the moth invasion, you could even say. Maybe… the moth war? I mean that might be a stretch but this is an extremely important issue, definitely worthy of an entire article. If you’re still unsure quite what I’m going on about and why you’re reading this, I can explain. (I’ll explain the first one, only you can truly answer the latter.)

It all began one innocuous morning with a conversation between a bedder and myself. I’m generally not very good at normal conversations and usually our interactions consisted of a couple of ‘mornings’ but this time it was different.

This time we talked about moths. (So still probably not a normal conversation by general standards, but it was something.) In this conversation, I was informed of the steadily growing number of moths in my accommodation. She didn’t directly use the term ‘moth invasion’ but I think we both knew that that was what she meant.

“Don’t say it’s true.” I said.

“I’m sorry.” She replied. A single tear rolled down my cheek.

Now, normally I don’t really mind moths. I probably wouldn’t say I was crazy about them (for animals that I am crazy about, see my upcoming duck article), but I was relatively neutral on the subject. Although the image of them nesting in my carpet, bedding and clothes did quite quickly make me less of a fan. And now here I am describing it as a war, so things have escalated fast.

Since that first conversation I’ve been tirelessly investigating, researching, perfecting the most efficient means to deal with these moths. Both for my personal safety, and for you, the reader. Strap in for what can only be described as a riveting, mind-blowing, thrilling piece of student journalism.

First, obviously, identify the problem. I was fortunate enough to have it pointed out to me, but if you’re not so lucky you have to be vigilant. Is that just one casual moth fluttering around or is it the start of a tidal wave of clothing destruction? It’s difficult to tell but if you notice that everyone’s a little on edge, if everything seems just a little too quiet, if there’s that smell of fear in the air, then you know it’s serious.


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The first method I used against the moths was smell-related. Apparently moths don’t like the scent of cedar or lavender, so I went on Amazon and ordered 15 bags of lavender. What’s a student loan for if not buying copious amounts of lavender? In my defence they weren’t large bags. I appreciate 15 of them may still be considered excessive but I’m not taking any chances here.

I also bought some smelling hangers for my wardrobe. Yes, I do consider these to be all worthwhile purchases – it’s for the greater good. And they seem to be effective as I’m currently inhabiting a lull in moth-related activity, but that hasn’t meant I’ve rested on my laurels. Oh no. You see, once you’ve been in the field for some time like myself, you realise that moths aren’t beaten so easily. They’re devious creatures. So, in the meantime, I’ve brainstormed a few strategies for if the situation were to get worse.

You can get professional help. In my copious amounts of research for this article I found a company that provides a “24-hour emergency call out service” to deal with moths. If you wake up at 3am and find the situation has suddenly got severely out of hand, you’ve got an option I suppose…

Infiltrate the moth’s ranks and lead a rebellion to cause anarchy in moth society. Infiltrate, agitate. You know how it’s done. Probably try the others first but it’s always an option.

If none of that works: burn the building down. Some people may say that this is extreme, I would use the term “necessary.”

Your college might put up a fight. Given the fact we’re not allowed candles, I doubt they would be thrilled about arson.

It’s just the next step in this strange dance that I’ve started with the moths. Flamethrowers may be a good means of achieving this but, call me old-fashioned, I prefer the old matches and a highly flammable liquid.

Your college might put up a fight. Given the fact we’re not allowed candles, I doubt they would be thrilled about arson. But if the situation becomes critical then really I think I would be doing everyone a favour.

But I’m just joking, obviously…