The Marvelous in Nature

The book tour recap, part 2

Mothing at the New River Birding and Nature Festival. Yours truly demonstrating her expertise by looking something up in her own guide, on the right. Two fellow bloggers among those on the left, Sara Stratton (blue shirt, centre) and Nina Harfmann (blue shirt, left). Photo by Jim McCormac.

When I left Wheeling I headed south to join the New River Birding and Nature Festival, already in progress near Fayetteville, WV. I’d heard about the NRBNF from other bloggers who’d attended in past years and seemed to have a really great time, and I’d been keen to attend myself. However, West Virginia was a fair ways for me to travel. When I got the confirmation on the book tour I thought this would be the perfect excuse to finally make it down there, and I contacted the organizers. Lucky me, they were interested in having me come and do some events!

Book exchange with fellow author (there were a few there!) Katie Fallon. Photo by Jim Rapp.

I arrived mid-afternoon on Wednesday and checked in to the cabin I was staying at with a few of the other festival guides: Katie Fallon (author of Cerulean Blues), Jim Rapp and Rachel Davis. They were there, relaxing in between the morning’s birding events and the evening’s dinner and entertainment; and they invited me in and made me feel immediately part of the group. They showed me to where dinner was being held (where I got to meet the wonderful Nina Harfmann, whose blog I discovered shortly after starting my own, and the inestimable Ohio naturalist Jim McCormac, who also keeps a blog that I highly encourage you to check out; go ahead, I’ll wait) and then later helped me with my event that evening. Honestly, half the reason I enjoyed the New River festival as much as I did was because of the people. Everyone was truly awesome.

The event that first evening went well, and the moths were extremely obliging. It was one of the better nights on the trip, with great weather and an excellent selection of species. Many people peeled out early (having been up at dawn to go birding, and planning to be up at dawn the next day to go birding), but a small group of enthusiastic people, including my cabinmates and Jim McCormac, stuck around and indulged in the mothiness. We were rewarded at the end of the evening with a caterpillar hunter, a giant beetle that, unsurprisingly, is a predator on caterpillars. Check out Jim’s excellent post on the creature.


The next morning I was up far too early, to co-lead a birding trip with Connie Toops and Bill Hilton, Jr. While I’d never met either I knew of both of them prior to the festival – Connie is co-author of a number of bird books; while Bill operates the Hilton Pond Center for Piedmont Natural History in South Carolina, as well as Operation Ruby-throat studying hummingbirds on their wintering grounds. We did a great trip through the forested hills of the region, seeing many Carolinian bird species we don’t get, or have in small numbers, here at home. I also got to see my first Zebra Swallowtails, a flashy butterfly species that doesn’t make it to Ontario. In the photo above, Connie (in the white shirt on right) is talking about coal mining in the region, pointing out a small mine in the side of the slope.


I did another talk that evening for a separate group participating in an Elderhostel program at a nearby state park. The following morning I returned to join the same group on another birding trip, along with Bill Hilton, Jr, again and nature columnist and radio show host Dr. Scott Shalaway. We got to take a jet boat out on the river, and while it was raining off and on most of the morning and therefore a little wet, it was also pretty amazing. The photo above is of the main bridge crossing the New River gorge. To give you a sense of scale, there’s an 18-wheeler tractor-trailer crossing the bridge in this photo (above the second strut from the right). Yeah. It was pretty spectacular. The whole New River region is, really.

Julie Zickefoose and celebrity Boston Terrier Chet Baker, and myself. Grinning from ear to ear at the opportunity to meet one of my idols.

Friday evening I didn’t do any mothing but instead enjoyed the post-dinner entertainment, a presentation by Julie Zickefoose. I have admired Julie pretty much since I discovered her blog in 2007; hers was one of the main inspirations for mine when I started it the following year. She’s the sort of passionate, dedicated person I would like to grow up to be, and I was super excited to have a chance to meet her. It was definitely one of the highlights of the trip for me – she’s every bit as friendly, generous and engaging as her blog makes her seem to be.

NRBNF4Enjoying lunch following a fun but very wet morning of birding the New River high country with Julie Zickefoose and Connie Toops. Photo by Julie Zickefoose.

Saturday morning was wet, wet, wet. I was on a trip with Connie Toops and Julie Zickefoose; it absolutely delighted me to be able to spend the morning in the company of these women I admire. So I could overlook the fact that it rained for pretty much the entire trip. We made a few stops for local specialties such as Golden-winged Warbler, and did end up getting a number of our target birds despite the damp weather. The birds I was most excited about weren’t actually the ones most other people were – I was keen to see the southern species, the ones we don’t get here in Ontario. I was happy that we did get a bunch of these, or at least heard them.

One of my favourite anecdotes from the tour was from this trip. We’d stopped someplace to check out some Golden-winged Warblers, and since the location was hilly and shrubby and it would be a while till we reached some washrooms, we thought it might be a good spot for a washroom break. While everyone else was checking out the warbler I carried on up the hill to see if it would be okay for the women to use. When I got up top it turned out there was a residence on the other side, some distance away but openly visible.
     I returned to the group and told my co-leaders, “I don’t think it’ll work for the women; there’s a house on the other side.”
     To which they gave me a funny look. “A what?”
     “A house.”
     The funny look remained. “A hearse?”
     They laughed when they understood (observing, “I know it’s West Virginia, but a hearse in the bush would be weird even for here.”).
     I found this greatly amusing, since I think it’s the first time my Canadian accent has ever caused a problem in communication. Honestly, I think I sound pretty much just like my American friends, but clearly there’s some difference , especially with the “ou” sounds. I got comments on my pronunciation both here and at other stops.

Myself with Geoff Heeter (of Opossum Creek Retreat, and a coordinator of the festival), Mary Ann Barnett and Rachel Davis. Photo by Jim Rapp.

Saturday night I did my last event of the New River festival, running my moth sheets at Opossum Creek Retreat while The Rain Crows played inside. It was a cool night, threatening rain, so we didn’t get too many moths to the lights. Still, though, it was a decent evening – just enough diversity to interest people. It was also the last evening of the festival, so there was a lot of socializing. I signed a lot of books, and chatted with a number of people whom I hadn’t had a chance to at any point earlier in the week. Met a lot of new folks, such as Dave Fitzsimmons, author of the fabulously-done children’s book Curious Critters (seriously; check that link out). I also got a couple of my own books signed, which I had brought anticipating that I’d meet the authors. This included Bill Thompson III, Julie Zickefoose’s husband, whom I admire nearly as much as his wife for all the stuff he’s involved in and how much he puts himself out there for other people. What a couple!

Many of the awesome people I met at the New River festival, most of us guides. Left to right – back row: Geoff Heeter, Paul whose surname I’ve forgotten, Ben Lizdas, Jim McCormac, Bill Thompson III, Jim Rapp, Heeter Jr whose first name I’ve forgotten, Liam Thompson; front row: myself, Julie Zickefoose (with Chet Baker), Wendy Eller, Rachel Davis; and Phoebe Thompson lounging out in front.

I was very sad to be leaving at the end of the week. I’d had such a good time there, met so many great people. Saw lots of interesting moths, including several lifers, species I’d never seen before. I’d definitely love to return, if I had the opportunity; unfortunately, West Virginia is no closer now than it was before, so we’ll have to see. Still, if you’ve got the chance to go yourself, I highly recommend it.

Onward I go, next to Canaan Valley NWR in northern West Virginia!

Baby bluebirds


One of the nicest things about living at this property, I think, has been the bluebirds that have reliably nested in the box in the meadow a hundred meters back from the house. It’s probably the same pair returning each year; the birds can live up to 7 or 8 years or more and tend to be fairly loyal to their territories. Last week Dan and I went out to check on how the local family was doing. Although by the time I go out with the dogs in the afternoon things have mostly quieted down, Dan’s been watching them during his morning walks and he had a feeling they’d be getting close to fledging, which they do at this latitude at about 19 days old.

Sure enough, when we opened up the box the little guys were probably only a few days away from leaving the nest, if that. Fortunately, they weren’t quite ready to go yet, and just hunkered down when I reached in to count them and pull them out for a photo. Their feet, one of the first parts of a baby bird to mature so they can use them to cling to branches if they have to leave the nest early in an emergency, gripped at the nest as I picked them up, and then at my hand while I held them.

The photo above is of a baby boy. You can tell the sexes of the babies apart by the colour of the wing and tail feathers – blue in males, grayish in females (below). We had two of each in the box. While we had the box open the parents sat in a nearby tree and waited. They were pretty patient with us for most of it, having come to recognize Dan as no threat from his morning walks and occasional checks.


For temperate migrants like these guys, who spend the winter not that far south of here, the breeding season starts early and many are already fledging young. Meanwhile, tropical migrants such as many of the warblers are only just starting to establish territories and build nests. We’ll be starting our MAPS visits this week and will get to see a lot more baby birds in the next little while. I do look forward to the fieldwork, for that and other reasons. It’s too bad it requires getting up so early!


The book tour recap, part 1

Seabrooke Leckie speaking in Dearborn, MI

(A [somewhat unflattering] candid photo of me giving the very first presentation of the tour, taken by Darrin O’Brien at the Dearborn, MI, event) 

So here’s the post series on the moth guide book tour, finally! I didn’t actually take very many photos while I was gone, and in retrospect I wish I’d taken more. At the time I was fully occupied with just running the events and enjoying myself, and not too worried about photos. I figured other people would probably take some, and travel photos end up just sitting around once you get home anyway. So a lot of the images I’m using will come from other folks (I’ll link where I can), and a few events won’t have any.

I had a fabulous time on this trip. I met a lot of awesome people, made a bunch of new friends, saw a pile of great moths, and overall had a really good time. Thanks to all of my hosts for inviting me out (and, often, feeding me and/or putting me up) and to all the people who attended for their enthusiasm.

Dearborn, MI: April 29
The tour got off to a great start with this first event at the Environmental Interpretive Center at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, co-hosted by the Rouge River Bird Observatory which operates out of the EIC. I got to meet longtime online-friends Julie Craves (of the RRBO) and her husband Darrin O’Brien, who took me to dinner and helped me with the evening, along with the EIC’s director, Richard Simek. The Dearborn crowd were my guinea pigs for the presentation I was doing on the tour, but everyone seemed gratifyingly interested. We were expecting cool temperatures and were pleasantly surprised when the afternoon turned out to be beautiful and sunny, and pleasantly warm. I’d been so worried that we’d have near-freezing temperatures and no moths in the evening, but I needn’t have fretted – we had a good selection of things come in, given the early date, and I think everyone had a good time. Julie wrote up a summary of the evening, complete with photos, on the Rouge River Bird Observatory’s blog.

(Signing books at the Dearborn event, with Julie Craves, at left, looking on. I’m afraid I unintentionally stole that pen at the end of the evening. Photo by Darrin O’Brien)

(Identifying a moth for a couple of the event attendees. I’m holding a bowl of ice cream in my other hand. They make their own maple syrup at the EIC and we were invited to try some, served over vanilla ice cream. It was delicious. Photo by Darrin O’Brien)

East Liberty, OH: April 30
I traveled about three to four hours each afternoon, from one event to the next. The second evening found me northwest of Columbus, OH, at the Big Darby Headwaters Nature Preserve. This is the only event that I truly regretted how it turned out: we got the sheets and everything all set up, and then just as dusk was falling a thunderstorm rolled in. It lasted for just about two hours, and by the time it had blown through, at 10:30, pretty much everyone had had to head home. We did set up a sheet inside the wide mouth of the big tractor garage that sheltered us, and got perhaps a dozen moths, but it wasn’t quite what I’d hoped for. Additionally, the pounding rain on the steel roof was too much for my quiet voice to compete with, so I wasn’t even able to do a presentation or anything, though I did sign books and try my best to answer questions one-on-one. The organizers were Steve Ross of The Nature Conservency-Ohio and his wife Jennifer Kleinrichert, as well as Janet Seeds and Chrissie Wilson, who were all incredibly nice and supportive. The photos of the event were sent to me from them later. I stayed the night with Donna Daniel at her amazing, beautiful farm; Donna was wonderful and gracious and made a delicious breakfast. No link for this event, but you should check out Steve and Jennifer’s farming/homestead blog. Also their Etsy shop; they thanked me for coming with a couple of bars of their handmade soap, which are beautifully made and smell wonderful.

Ohio1(The one moth sheet and event attendees at the East Liberty, OH, stop; they all look like they’re listening intently to someone, but as I didn’t do any speaking I’m not sure who. This photo and the next two supplied by my hosts)

(Two volunteer helpers, John Cannon and Chrissie Wilson, and me. I’m glad they look like they’re enjoying themselves.)

Ohio2(Jennifer Kleinrichert and a handful of the moths we got that stormy evening. I suppose I should be grateful that we got any at all, given the weather.)

(Donna Daniels and myself in front of her beautiful old farmhouse. I wish I could have done some mothing here, but rain overnight kept me from putting out my trap. The daytime wildlife was amazing, though. I got my first-ever good look at adult Red-headed Woodpeckers, and she had a Clay-colored Sparrow coming to her feeder. A huge Fox Squirrel, a species we don’t get in Ontario really, made an appearance. Birds and frogs and insects everywhere.)

Wheeling, WV: May 1
This event was the first of a couple that I did as part of the Master Naturalists education series, though it was also open to the public. This one was held at the Good Zoo at the Oglebay Resort in the beautiful foothills/mountains of northern West Virginia. Being a class as well as a book-signing event, I offered the attendees their choice of presentations: the one on moths in the environment that I’d prepared for the trip, or one I’d presented a year and a half ago on tips to get started in mothing. They chose the latter. I think they were perhaps expecting a primer on identifying moth families or something along those lines. Instead, I talked about the attraction of mothing, and gave them five “rules” for learning:

Rule 1: Start with the common species. Leave the uncommon stuff for next year.
Rule 2: Learn what’s flashy. This stuff’s easy to identify and also to remember.
Rule 3: Learn the rest in groups. Learn one family this year, another next.
Rule 4: Don’t be afraid to leave some stuff on the sheet unidentified.
Rule 5: Have fun. It’s so easy to let yourself get overwhelmed by how much there is to learn, but the whole point is to enjoy it. Scale back if you’re not.

Another thunderstorm (complete with tornado watch!) rolled in that evening, but we lucked out and got in an hour of mothing before it arrived. Because the weather was so warm and humid we got a really great selection of moths; perhaps a couple dozen species, including a couple sphinxes and a Rosy Maple Moth that were crowd-pleasers. I got my first lifer species at this stop: an Eyed Paectes*. No photos from this event, nor online summary; it was a bit of a whirlwind evening because we all had an eye to the sky, anticipating the rain. I didn’t even get a pic of the paectes, unfortunately. Thanks to my host Penny Miller for both inviting me to this event and putting me up at the Oglebay Resort, which was a beautiful place. Didn’t get a chance to visit the actual zoo, though.

*I was actually surprised by the proportion of moths I could identify, even at my farthest-south stops. Most of what we caught was also stuff I get back home, and a lot of the stuff that was new to me was stuff I was familiar with just from having worked on preparing the guide (eg: Eyed Paectes). There were some instances where I had to pull out a copy of the book to check things or look stuff up, but not too many compared to what I’d been expecting.

I think in the interest of length I’ll wrap up part 1 there, but I’ve lots more to share from the trip. Stay tuned!

Cecropia Moths


When I visited the Ned Smith Center for Nature and Art, near Millersburg, PA, during the book tour, I got an opportunity to meet my very first Cecropia Moth (I’m posing with it, above). It was a captive-reared individual that one of the guys involved in the event had raised himself from a caterpillar; it had eclosed (emerged from its cocoon) that day or the day before, so he’d brought it to share with the attendees. Another person brought a female they’d reared to the event in Athol, MA, hoping she’d lure in some males (she didn’t, but she was still beautiful). (A third person brought a captive-reared female Luna to the event in Detroit, MI, and there was also a captive Luna at the Ned Smith Center; and someone else brought a reared Polyphemus to the Ithaca, NY, event – I was grateful to all these folks, it was so great to have these flashy silkmoths there to show off!)

They’re indeed impressive moths. They’re also not that uncommon, so it’s a bit of a surprise that I’ve not encountered one before at my lights; I’ve got the other silkmoths, the Luna and Polyphemus, Imperial and Io, but never the Callosamia or Hyalophora species that share this sort of pattern. I’m supposing they’re not as attracted to lights as the other species are; some species of moth aren’t.


Then last night I came around the corner to check my moth sheet and there this guy was, waiting for me! Looking a little natty, with that big tear up his left forewing, and some nicks out of the edges, but it didn’t matter; it was a Cecropia, the first wild individual I’d ever seen, and also my first for Ontario. I went searching for a container I could put it in, to hold it in the fridge till the morning for a photo.

I had a bunch of larger containers stacked at the side of the house, and as I bent over to grab them I suddenly realized…


…the silkmoth cocoon I’d collected last week had hatched, and there was a fresh Cecropia Moth hanging inside of the wire cage I’d put it in.

And suddenly it all made sense, why there was a Cecropia at my light this evening. The differences between the sexes of Cecropia are somewhat subtle, involving the size of the antennae (larger in males, for detecting the female’s pheromones) and abdomen (larger in females, as it’s full of unfertilized eggs), and I’m not really experienced enough to tell the difference; but I’m guessing this one was a female, and after she emerged she started releasing pheromones (“calling”) that drew the male in.


This is the cocoon (now empty). Last winter (’10-’11) I discovered two Promethea Moth cocoons that I collected and hoped to see hatch out (they’re also moths I’ve never seen adults of) but they turned out to both have been parasitized. This winter I found two cocoons that I was pretty sure were Cecropia, though I thought might perhaps be Polyphemus, which are very common around here and build similar-looking cocoons. I didn’t want to collect them up and have them hatch in captivity while I was on the tour, so I waited till I got home. By that time one was already empty, but the other still had something in it; I hoped it was a moth, not a parasite.

I cut off the small branch it was attached to and brought it home, making a wire cage to protect it and also to contain the moth once it emerged. I’d been checking on it regularly, but I guess I hadn’t looked yesterday. Cecropias apparently typically emerge around mid-morning, which I guess gives their wings time to expand, dry and strengthen prior to the night’s flight.


By the time I shut the light off and went to bed, three male Cecropias had come in to my sheet. I collected them up and set them together for this photo, before carefully moving them out into dense vegetation, just in case they didn’t fly off once the light was turned out (some moths, once they’ve arrived at the sheet, don’t leave again; and silkmoths would be pretty obvious to predators).

I find it interesting how much variation there is in the pattern of their wings. The one on the top, for instance, has very bright, well-marked spots, while the middle one has very little white in the spots. Of course, this is pretty well true for most species of moths, that there can be quite a lot of variation, but it’s more noticeable in some than others.


One of the males, showing off his feathery antennae. The receptors on these are so sensitive to the female’s pheromones that he can (supposedly) detect her from up to a mile (1.6 km) away. Which is pretty astounding, when you think about it, even considering that these moths are North America’s largest, at up to a 6 inch (15 cm) wingspan. On one of my checks one of the males was just arriving, and as he fluttered about the area, circling around the light  and along the house wall, between his size and the way he flew you could almost have sworn he was a bat if you didn’t get a good look.


This is the moth that hatched out of my cocoon. I saved her for a photo today, and she’s back in the fridge again to wait for this evening; I didn’t want to release her mid-day when her giant size would make her pretty eye-catching to predators as she flew away. I’ve been toying with the idea of catching one of the males she calls in and putting them together in a captive space, to hold her until she lays her eggs in order to raise them. I think that would a lot of fun, to watch the caterpillars develop and end up with a large brood of adult moths that could be released next year. But I think it would also probably be a lot of work… So I’m yet undecided. I’ll keep you posted.

Back home and catching my breath

It’s been a month since I posted anything here, the last post being the book tour schedule. I think I had this naive idea that I’d post intermittently while I was away on tour, talking about how the events were going, but in reality I just didn’t have the time. Between driving to the events, setting up for the events, and doing the events, I didn’t have a whole lot of time left over for internetting, and what I did have tended to be taken up with things like plotting out driving directions to my next event.

I’ve been home a few days now, and have been using the time to get caught up on everything I wasn’t doing while I was gone – pressing things like preparing the gardens, slightly less-immediate stuff like starting to catch up on email (which I’m perpetually hopelessly behind on). This weekend I’m away again, but I hope to post a bit about the tour early next week. Stay tuned!

Book tour schedule


I head off on the book tour for the Peterson Field Guide to Moths in a week and a half! I’m busy finalizing details and getting myself organized to go; lots of little things to take care of before then.

Here’s the final tour schedule. If you have a question about any of these events, please contact the person listed (if it’s regarding the facilities) or myself (if it’s regarding the event details, or if no person is listed).

*Event attendees may leave early if you need to go – we won’t trap you!

April 29
Dearborn (Detroit), Michigan

8pm – midnight*
University of Michigan-Dearborn Environmental Interpretive Center
Presented by UMD with Rouge River Bird Observatory
More information (with link to map).
Please RSVP with this form.

April 30
East Liberty (Columbus), Ohio
8pm – midnight*
Big Darby Headwaters Nature Preserve
Presented by The Nature Conservancy Ohio
More information.
Please RSVP with this link or email sross at by April 25.

May 1
Wheeling, West Virginia
7:30 – midnight*
Oglebay’s Good Zoo
Please RSVP to Penny Miller by email (pmiller at or phone 304-243-4027.

May 2-5
New River Gorge National River, West Virginia

New River Birding and Nature Festival
This is a registration-only event. If you’re interested in participating, visit the festival’s website here.

May 6 – day off for sanity

May 7
Davis, West Virginia
7pm – midnight*
Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center
More information.

May 8
Millersburg, Pennsylvania
8pm – midnight*
Ned Smith Center for Nature and Art
More information.
Registration suggested but not necessary. Members free, non-members $3.

May 9
Hockessin, Delaware
7pm – 9pm* (or later)
Ashland Nature Center
Presented by Delaware Nature Society
More information.
This appears to be listed as members-only, which I hadn’t realized. If you are interested in coming to this event but are not a member of the DNS, contact me and I’ll see about sneaking you in. :)

May 10
East Brunswick, New Jersey
8pm – 11pm*
East Brunswick Cultural Arts Center, Playhouse 22
Presented by Friends of the East Brunswick Environmental Commission
More information.

May 11 – day off to visit friends

May 12
Athol, Massachusetts
8pm – midnight*
1542 Pleasant Street, Athol
Hosted by Dave Small of the Athol Bird and Nature Club
For more information contact Dave by email (dave at or phone (978-413-1772) (event posting here)

May 13
Danby, New York
8pm – 10:30pm* (or later)
Danby Town Hall
Presented by Danby Conservation Advisory Council
More information.



The teabags I use for everyday use are of the two-cup sort. I sort of felt like I was wasting half a teabag when tossing them into the compost after just one use, so for a while I’d started saving them on a plastic lid for a second use later in the day (and since I usually have multiple cups in a day, they didn’t normally sit long). This stopped last week when, upon lifting the saved teabags, I discovered a silverfish underneath.

I very nearly dumped the silverfish along with the teabags, but changed my mind in time. This isn’t the first silverfish I’ve ever seen and it definitely won’t be the last, but it was the first one that was on a conveniently portable surface that I could set up my camera over. And it was being remarkably cooperative, sitting still while I moved the plastic lid around. It might be the best opportunity I’d get for a silverfish photo, at least foreseeably.


There are apparently 18 species of silverfish in North America, organized into three families. Of these, one species (in its own family) is found exclusively in carpenter ant nests in forests of northern California and Oregon. Another four species (in the second family) are restricted primarily to caves, termite nests and other subterranean habitats in the southeastern US. The rest (in the third family) are widespread and found in many habitats. Two are found around the world and are common inhabitants in our homes: the Common Silverfish (Lepisma saccharina) and the Firebrat (Thermobia domestica). The former is typically resident of our damp areas, most usually the bathroom, while the latter sticks close to heat sources and is normally found near furnaces, hot water heaters, insulated ductwork, etc. This one is a Common Silverfish. I’ve never seen a Firebrat.


I have to admit I’ve always been fascinated by silverfish, in a slightly creeped-out way. Their fluidity of movement is sort of unreal. Till now I’d only ever observed them in washrooms, and I was perfectly happy for them to stay there. However, they’re not harmful in any way, really. They don’t bite, and don’t spread disease. They’re vegetarians, with a sweet tooth: their scientific name, saccharina, refers to their preference for sugars and starches. They’ll take these where they can find them, be it glue in wallpaper or book bindings, starches in natural fibres (both cloth and paper), or food scraps or other biological material. (Wikipedia lists dandruff, even.) But if necessary, they can go without food or water for weeks.

An individual silverfish can live as long as two to eight years. Think about that. If you moved in the last few years, there might be silverfish in your house that have lived there longer than you have. Fortunately, they’re not that prolific; a female may lay fewer than 100 eggs in her lifetime. And a healthy household population of earwigs, spiders and house centipedes will also help keep their numbers down.

I’m sort of tempted to paint a dot on the back of the next one I find, except they continue to moult even as adults, so it might shed the dot before the next time I see it and I’d never know. I guess I’ll just stick to watching from a distance.