Now that is real eye-catcher of a blog title. Yuck.
Working in the villages in Laos I was shocked to see the mess of silkworm eggs laid haphazardly on cloth with dead moths stuck to the edges of a basket . The powder on the moth wings is said to be the source of most sicknesses in silkworms. It gets on the eggs and then the following batch of silkworms gets sick.
I've also seen friends in Japan show up with a bunch of silk moth eggs stuck to a cocoon. It sends shivers up my spine. It is so not hygienic. Here is some advice for would-be silk moth breeders.
Let's go back a few days...
First, get the silkworms that are making cocoons away from the silkworms that are still eating. The traditional silk farmhouses (like mine) were designed that there was an upstairs floor (often a half height floor) that the spinning silkworms were brought to be away from the late spinners. There was the practical purpose for this as well. The huge amount of leaf waste had to be disposed of, but the focus of several days work was to get the silkworms to a clean, warm place where they can make good quality cocoons.
If the weather is humid the waste can get moldy in a matter of hours. The silkworms get rid of excess liquid from their bodied only once. This high ammonia waste can kill other silkworms as well as create a generally bad condition for all worms. I've raised 20 000 worms at a time and the days they start to spin is a crucial time to keep things very clean and organized and prioritized.
A week or so later, it is more important to keep silk moths away from the area where silkworms will be raised. When breeding a lot of silkworms I have a morning shower wear fresh clothes. I wash my hands and arms and all equipment with a disinfectant. A face mask doesn't hurt. I choose the best shaped cocoons. The ones with the finest patterns on their surface. After cutting open the cocoons I choose the best formed and colored chrysalis and separate the males and females. When the moths emerge I choose the best formed ones with no bent wings and discolored abdomens etc. (Fairly evil-eugenic-minded stuff here.)
These three were rejects this time.
It just isn't so.
And on a lighter note...the radiation reading was below normal on Geiger's geiger counter! I hope Japan moves away from nuclear power but I doubt they will. Too much vested interest. The Japanese are not comfortable to confront authority and power directly. I fear the backlash on those who are doing that now.