Giant Moths Descend on Malaysia

Though alarming, moth swarms not dangerous

By Shelley Hazen,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 11, 2014 1:29 PM CDT

(Newser) – To some they represent the souls of dead relatives, to others they are beautiful pollinators, but to many they are just plain creepy. What are they? Giant Lyssa Zampa moths, swarms of which have descended on Malaysian homes and even a football match, the BBC reports. “The moths are actually present during other times of the year but in very small numbers, so they are usually not noticed by people," explains a biology lecturer—but right now they're very noticeable, as they are swarming in the thousands.

Though the moths—which have a six-inch wingspan—emerge every year from April to August, the lecturer does admit that this latest wave is "unprecedented." The insects have also been bothering Singapore, where 800 sightings were reported last month. But experts assure the moths do not cause disease or inflame allergies. "The moths are harmless and the public has nothing to be afraid of," says one. Still, it sounds gross: As one local said last week, according to the Straits Times, "[I] always find them dead on the side of the buildings in the mornings." (Over the holidays in Appalachia, freckle-sized bugs waged a war on Christmas trees.)

  (Shutterstock)
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