Mum’s favourite cashmere jumper has been savaged by a moth. But it’s turned its nose up (do moths have noses?) at her woollies.
Apparently this is normal. Moths have expensive tastes. They prefer cashmere to wool and synthetic fabrics, preferring to get their teeth (do moths have teeth?) into posh natural ones.
Anyway, Mum’s not happy and has filled her cashmere drawer with lavender and conkers to put the varmint off.
Now, when anything goes wrong in the house, we’ve taken to saying, ‘It must be the moth.’ It’s so far been blamed for a marmalade stain and a power cut.
‘If I find it, I’ll clip it round its ear,’ said Mum, who isn’t normally prone to violent outbursts.
This then (inevitably) occasioned a discussion about moths’ ears and whether they actually have them.
Well, it turns out they do. They’re very basic, with a mere four vibration-sensitive cells. But, paradoxically, they’re also extremely sophisticated, having evolved to detect the high-pitched calls of bats – their main predators.
Research at Bristol University has revealed ‘unexpected sophistication in one of the simplest ears known’. Moths can hear the tiniest of high-pitched noises, detecting displacements the size of an atom.
So moths do have ears, but they’re too small to clip.