Burglar Nabbed!

For several months, the members of the Hamster For President campaign committee have been troubled by tiny thieves like the one pictured above who break in quietly and infest our food - seeds, particularly. Finally, through the diligent efforts of Cecil, the campaign's official watch-hamster, the culprits have been caught.

The apprehension of the above-pictured moth, known as a seed moth to those who can tell one type moth from another, set in motion a chain of events that has resulted in the defeat of the entire moth gang. The captive led watch-hamster Cecil to the nesting places of the pesky invaders, and before long the entire moth mafia had fallen to defeat.

Cecil (pictured below) reports that moth infestations of hamster mix are not common, but they aren't uncommon, either. In other words, even if you don't have a moth problem today, you could sooner or later.

Usually hamsters (and their human friends) think that swatting a few moths will solve the problem. It probably won't. But we at HFP headquarters have found ways to deal with the flying meanies that are painless, bloodless, and nearly-always foolproof. What did we do? Well, we cleaned up all the cages at once and we got rid of what was left of our old, uneaten seed mix. Then we invited a human with some experience in this field to come and give our house the old insect extermination treatment. First one room was sealed off completely, and a "bug bomb" was set off in it. The room was aired out overnight, with the door still closed - in our case, a fan and open windows was enough to get rid of the poison. Then, the next day, all the hamsters were put into the fumigated, airtight room while insect foggers were placed the rest of our apartment. After that was thoroughly aired out, we all were free to return to our regular places, moth free.

Fortunately, campaign staffer Little Red had the foresight to interrogate the captive moth and she quickly learned how the sticky-fingered pests got here in the first place. It seems that once in every couple hundred packages of hamster seed mix or so comes a batch that might have a few moth eggs in it. Given the right conditions and sufficient time, those eggs hatch and the young moths emerge and colonize cage and kitchen (not to mention any place else they want to inhabit). It doesn't take long. So acting on this information, we purchased something called a "dry food storage" container. It's basically an anti-moth fortress. Actually, we have two of them. They come in the medium 25-pound size (about $30) and in the 50-pound large (about $40). Since there are so many of us and we buy our regular foods wholesale, it makes perfect sense to have that much storage. Most hamster homes, however, can get by with something far smaller (and only one of them).

Little Red is shown inspecting the larger of the two food storage units. It has an air-tight seal and an inlaid lid that requires about five turns to completely close. That is important because it ensures that no moths can get in or out of the unit. If a bag of mix comes with moth eggs, an inspection will eventually detect them, and the seed can then be packaged in little plastic food storage bags or food containers and put in a freezer for about one week. In the meantime, of course, you have to get another bag of seeds. But even if a gang of little seed-moth burglars has completely taken over, don't worry. It's easy to reclaim your homes and your food stashes if you just follow our easy directions.

NOTE: The moth mugshot at the top of this notice is enlarged. In real life, these are tiny beasties, less than a half inch long.






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