Dear Action Line: How can we eradicate those fuzzy gray moths that are everywhere these days? We are infested with them. – Swarmed
Dear Swarmed: Those are most likely the miller moths, according to Darrin Parmenter, director and horticulture agent of the La Plata County Extension Office. Miller moths pester people, like this:
Here’s what they look like up close. They are horrific:
“They are a nuisance pest and won’t do any damage inside the house. We see these big populations and migrations from the Eastern Slope every couple of years, and it’s typically based on environmental conditions.”
They should be gone in a couple of weeks as they move to higher elevations, he said. “My cat likes to chase them and then play with them. Somewhat morbid.”
Dear Action Line: Five police cars just drove up in front of my house with lights flashing. The guy in the first car pulls out his bullhorn and starts singing “Happy Birthday” to the kid across the street. They all drive off, presumably to their next gig. Is there going to be a new talent show called “America’s Got Police?” – Cop Curious
Dear Curious: The performance was all in the line of duty, said Bob Brammer, Durango’s chief of police. “A young community member of ours had a birthday, and we were requested to sing him a song as his birthday wish,” Brammer said. He thought the request was related to the coronavirus lockdown. “I have never heard of ‘America’s Got Police,’ but this could get traction.”
Brammer said the police are open to belting out the birthday song to other residents, but only if the officers have time.
“If people really want us to continue this, I would suggest they contact the duty sergeant through dispatch at 385-2900,” he said. “If we are not tied up on calls, I am sure we can make an arrangement.”
The suggestion was made if crime fighting slows down, the chief’s officers could also perform Broadway tunes downtown, or at least jazz hands when giving someone a ticket: “Here you go. Good day and drive safely. (Sha-pah.)”
Brammer said he liked the ideas. “I don’t think we are slowing down, but we could certainly work in the jazz hands.”
Dear Action Line: What’s with all the takeout food container litter around town? Empty plastic containers have gone viral! We know people can’t dine in at their favorite places, but trash cans are still open for business (at least one customer at a time, no mask required). – Sick of Slobs
Dear Sick: You are correct, said Levi Lloyd, director of operations for the city. The trash cans are open for business. “Trash and recycling services have not skipped a beat since the start of COVID-19,” he said.
Jack Llewellyn, executive director of the Durango Chamber of Commerce, guessed the mess was a result of animal “bandits,” or the weather.
“I often see crows or ravens dumpster- or trash-can dive and enjoy the leftovers of humans,” he said. “In addition, we have had an incredibly windy spring, and once out of the receptacle, containers are blown around, causing the unsightly mess.”
The National Weather Service did not respond to a question regarding the wind making a mess, or whether they would send someone down to clean it up since they predict the weather.
Joe Lewandowski, spokesman for Colorado Parks and Wildlife, said Llewellyn’s theory did have some merit regarding the birds.
“Crows and magpies are part of the corvid family of birds. Not to be mistaken for the COVID family of microscopic viruses,” he said. “Corvids are said to be the smartest birds on the planet. They learn quickly where to pick up a free meal. They don’t see raiding a trash receptacle as “dumpster diving,” they know it as smorgasbord.”
Dave Woodruff, president of the Durango chapter of the Colorado Restaurant Association, said the local restaurants are appreciative of the support during the lockdown, but please remember to take care of the environment.
“Enjoy our great takeout meals while enjoying some outside time, but take them with you to dispose of properly,” he said.
Email questions to email@example.com or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301. No mask is needed for social distancing when a natural ability exists to keep people away.