Colorado’s Miller moth season is one of Biblical-plague proportions. Nothing can quite capture the sensation of retching disgust when one of these dusty insects makes its way into your hair, bed, cereal, or clothing. My homicidal rage only comes out on rare occasions. April is one of them, appropriately after tax season.
Typically, when faced with a menial, inefficient task, my reflex is to start thinking about automation. Yet in this case, my wife was the one that lifehacked 1 the situation.
So clouded was I by my moth hatred, that I was content to keep swatting away, one by one. So Sarah points me to this article on efficiently killing the moths. The method takes advantage of a few key facts:
- Moths like light.
- Moths can’t swim.
- Moths can escape water surfaces due to surface tension.
- Soap lessens the surface tension of water.
Simple enough formula. Leave one lamp on all night with a bowl of soapy water underneath = death trap. Remember the end of Indiana Jones and the Lost Ark, when that Nazi gazed at the hovering archangel? He says:
I’ts so beautiful!
…right before Gabriel turns into Lucifer and slays the guy, shrieking in utter terror.
That’s what I like to imagine the moths are doing when they dive into the hot light of our night light and drown in the soapy water.