|MadSci Network: General Biology|
Moths have an extremely sensitive sense of smell that plays a major role in influencing their behavior, from finding food to reproduction. They sense airborne chemicals with their antennae, which are covered with very tiny structures known as "sensilla". The sensilla contain olfactory nerves which are specialized for various types of chemicals. For example, some nerves may be specialized for detection of sex pheromones, while others may detect particular foods. Moth balls work primarily by killing moths and their larvae. They are made of chemicals (e.g. napthalene) which vaporize and permeate the storage area in which they are used. They must be used in a closed area or the vapors will not reach a high enough concentration to be effective. The University of Kentucky has a good WWW page with more information on protection of stored clothing from moths, and for more information on insects in general, a good place to start is Gordon Ramel's Entomology Page.
Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on General Biology.
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