Infestation

I have unwelcome visitors! This is serious. In fact, it’s rather biblical. My kitchen cupboards have become home to a seemingly endless tribe of moths.

Not those rather pretty, silvery-goldy things which flutter about sweetly and then munch all your cashmere jumpers on the sly. These are mysterious, pale brown creatures, with the odd fleck of black, and I am not at all sure what they are up to. Why are they in my cupboards? How did they get there? What are they eating?

Actually, I know the answer to the last one, and it’s rather revolting. They’re eating everything – the flour, the sugar and, on one unforgivable occasion, the M & S Belgian chocolate-coated raisins. True Love even spotted one in my Ancient Grains breakfast cereal a few months back. Naturally, I pooh-poohed him. This was when I was in deep denial. I’d see a moth fly out every time I opened the cupboard, and I’d just ignore it and shut the door quickly. I’ve never been one for tangling with wildlife. After all, what are husbands for? I’ll say something for X, he was always very good at manoeuvring spiders out of the house, using that old glass and sheet of paper technique.

Now, I’ve entered a new phase. I have realised, at last, that there is no husband around to deal with the crisis. True Love flits in and out, rather like a moth himself, and I somehow cannot ask him to take on this heavy burden of responsibility, though he did once remove a spider which was in dire need of Immac after I had shrieked the place down. But I can’t go around yelling every two minutes, particularly if there is no man around to hear and act. I’d only freak out the offspring, not to mention get a sore throat. I have to handle this myself. I must sort out my own moths.

So, from being an insect avoider, I am now walking insecticide. I spot a moth, I take a tissue, I scrumple up tissue and moth together, and I throw the lot in the bin without anything more than a feeling of triumph. I have become a murderess. There are many moth souls on my conscience, or the place where my conscience ought to be. If I feel faint-hearted, as I did this morning when opening the cereals cupboard and finding four moths hanging out on the shelf, I remind myself of my beloved choccy raisins and I swoop. I am also constantly distracted in my conversations with the preciouses about their homework, as I scan the ceiling for signs of – deep breath – tiny creamy moth larvae wiggling across the ceiling. Yes, these yucky little beasties make a steady, vile progress from who-knows-whence to a secret spot, where they mutate into moths, insert themselves into my cupboards, and fly out at me every morning.

This is why, at the crack of dawn today, I found myself standing perilously atop my kitchen worksurface, vacuum cleaner curtain attachment in hand, frantically hoovering the tops of the cupboards. Thank god for OCD, which makes it all a grim sort of pleasure. But if that doesn’t do it, I don’t know what will. Any suggestions very gratefully received.

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