Rustic Sphinx Invasion

Subject: Rustic Sphinx Invasion?
August 25, 2016 6:35 pm
Hello there!
Thanks for having such an awesome and informative site, first of all!
Because of your site, I now know that the massive, palm-sized moths that seem to be taking over my front house neighbor’s home are in fact the Manduca rustica, or “Rustic Sphinx” moth.
However, knowing this about these magnificent moonlight-nectar-drinking creatures is unfortunately not enough. She’s quite set on having them OUT of her house and really I can’t blame her. In the past 2 days she’s found 4 of them! I was nearly convinced she’d just been encountering the same moth again and again except, after capturing one to relocate to a local nature preserve, I noticed a second one within short range of the first.
So, my question is:  How do you suppose would be best to deter them from coming in, or encourage them to leave?
I wouldn’t want to harm them, I definitely appreciate their existence as validation that our shared yard is a tiny oasis ecosystem…. But when you find them in your kitchen sink you start to wonder how far the ecosystem should spread.
Thank you for your time,
Phoenix, AZ
Signature: Janey

Rustic Sphinx (image from our archives)
Rustic Sphinx (image from our archives)

Dear Janey,
We wish you had supplied an image with your comment, but luckily we have no shortage of Rustic Sphinx images in our archives.  We would recommend two control methods for your neighbor.  We strongly suspect that outdoor lighting is attracting the moths, so keeping the porch light turned off, or having it on a motion activation sensor should help reduce the number of Rustic Sphinxes attracted to the home.  This is a large moth, and it must be gaining access to the home through gaps in the doors or windows, so using caulking to seal the gaps will also reduce the chances of critters getting inside.  Finally, we suspect this is an unusual seasonal event, perhaps due to ideal weather and other environmental conditions.  We believe this will pass within a month.

Leave a Comment