Moth Deterrent

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Dear Rabbi Simon
I bought moth stickers, or whatever they are called, not exactly moth balls, but the effect is that they kill moths and their larvae. Having already bought them, I am now wondering if that is halakhically permissible since you are killing an insect? If so, must one remove these devices on Shabbat?
The reason I bought them is that so many if my skirts and sweaters have holes in them and I thought that moths might be part of the problem. (Or am I passing up an obvious excuse to update my wardrobe?) But a living thing is a living thing…
Kind regards
Martha

Dear Martha
TY for your interesting and sensitive Q. Killing insects is permitted (not on Shabbat or Yom Tov) if they are a menace to you or your property. In general, while wanton destruction or taking of life in any form should be avoided, where human wellbeing is advanced thereby, it is allowed. BTW, I am not sure if a moth larva has the status of a fully formed creature in halachic terms. Note also that the moth deterrent you describe probably keeps moths away as well as killing those already in its vicinity. The first property is certainly allowed. No need to remove them on Shabbos as their work is subtle and automatic.
So live and let live, but not at the cost of your wardrobe becoming a moth colony.
Shabbat Shalom
Rabbi Rashi Simon

Questions & Answers
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Questions and Answers

Ask the Rabbi: Quinoa on Pesach
Dear Rabbi Simon,
Where do you stand on quinoa (and the kitniyot ban) for Pesach?
Many thanks,
Tzippy
***
Dear Tzippy,
In line with other American authorities, I am in favour of quinoa. Although I reject completely the voices (mostly from Israel) seeking to abolish the ban on kitniyot entirely, IMO we do not need to include in the prohibition pseudo-grains that were unknown in the Old World until modern times. Best to buy with a Pesach hechsher though, to be free of any possible wheat contamination.
Rabbi Rashi Simon
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