A new method to curb moth populations involves some pheromone-based bait-and-switch trickery that confuses the male moth’s primal urge — the urge to mate.
Last year scientists unveiled a new pheromone treatment which interferes with the sex lives of moths, thereby breaking up their reproductive cycles. Like Bugs Bunny dressing in drag to confuse Elmer Fudd, moths coated in identity obscuring pheromones are attracting moths of the same sex. The pheromones, used inside a lure, call the male moths to it, which leads to them sniffing around and becoming coated in the female pheromone inside. The pheromones mask their sexual identity and makes them appear female to other male moths.
According to the makers of the ‘Moth Population Control Assist’ treatment, which is produced by Rentokil, confused males try to mate with one another resulting in a “moth orgy” that leaves the lady moths out in the cold.
By disrupting the breeding cycle, less larvae are produced — and it’s the larvae most responsible for the destruction of human-produced fabrics. According to an online source, Rentokil said the moth populations in testing were reduced by more than 90 percent during trials using the pheromone lures.
The lure contains a pheromone with an entostatic dust, which sticks to the male moth attracted to it, essentially coating it in female pheromones, and causing enough sexual misunderstandings for about two seasons of ‘Three’s Company” reruns.