Q:

Are moths harmful?

A:

Quick Answer

A few species of moths ingest plants that contain cardenolides, a group of poisons that affect the heart muscle and are dangerous to humans when eaten. Otherwise moths are harmless. Moths do not bite or sting, and they have many beneficial effects on the ecosystem.

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Full Answer

Larvae and adult moths provide food for predators such as birds, bats, frogs and spiders. Most moth species feed on nectar and spread pollen among flowers. Other adult species do not feed at all. Moths in the larva stage that gather in large numbers may damage crops. Additionally, the gypsy moth destroys trees. Of the 15,000 moth species in the United States, only two damage items made from wool, silk, fur and feathers.

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Related Questions

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    What are some hummingbird moth facts?

    A:

    Hummingbird moths are large, nectar-sipping moths that sometimes get mistaken for hummingbirds. They fly similarly to hummingbirds and can hover in front of flowers while they prepare their tongues to feed. The moths accomplish these flying feats in the same fashion as hummingbirds do – by beating their wings at a rapid rate. The wing beats of the moths create a buzzing sound, similar to that produced by hummingbirds.

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  • Q:

    What do brown house moths eat?

    A:

    Brown house moths generally consume clothing materials, such as silk, wool, feathers and more. Brown house moths can chew through and destroy clothing quickly, and they prefer to live and feed in dark places. These moths do the most damage when they are in the larval stage, as adult moths do not feed on clothes and household materials, say experts at Orkin.

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  • Q:

    How do you exterminate moths?

    A:

    Exterminate moths by using moth traps, laundering all clothing and fabric in the affected area, and washing drawers, cupboards and wardrobes. You can also contact a local professional pest removal service.

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  • Q:

    What draws a moth to flame?

    A:

    As of August 2014, entomologists are not exactly sure why moths are attracted to flames or artificial lights, but three prevailing theories include how moths navigate, how moths breed and how bright the moon is at night. One theory is that moths are distracted by lights that are not moonlight, and another is that some portions of infrared light are the same types of energy given off by female moths.

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