wool hank
© F H Powell 2011

Moths and butterflies. It is not easy to classify between butterflies and moths. Of the two it seems moths get a bad press. Why would this be so? There are probably a few reasons and below are a few we have thought of.

Butterflies generally are considered to be quite colourful whereas moths are perceived as drab. It would be unfair to say that is always the case. However, some sources attribute the word moth to an Old English word meaning maggot. So it appears this perception of moths is not new. Butterflies remind of sunny warm days as they sit on a leaf or branch opening their wings to the bright rays. Not the first image that springs to mind when thinking about moths.

Maybe it is the general nocturnal nature of the moth that makes them less favoured? Those warm sultry evenings when the annoying rattle of a moth around a light bulb or against a window trying to get in do not sit well in the memory! It is not fully understood what attracts moths to light but it is thought to do with nighttime navigation.

One thing that definitely sets us against moths is the damage they can cause to woollen and other natural fabrics. It is not the moth, as most people know, that causes the damage. It is the caterpillar larvae. Some may recall that peculiar smell of mothballs in a wardrobe or drawer. The traditional mothballs was made from highly flammable naphthalene and has been superseded by less flammable organic compounds. But your miniature clothes do not have to fall prey to moths, as mothproofed wool is available from our web shop.

So is it right that moths get a bad press? Maybe or maybe not as the ecological world would be a much poorer place without them.