Planned Parenthood for moths?
The moth container with moth waiting to hear its fate
In answer to my moth dilemma, Jack Meyer, a Central Park birder who leads bird walks during the migration seasons, writes:
You will have to take the moth to a vet, and have it neutered before releasing it.
Along the same lines, Jean Dane had a suggestion I don't think I'll go into further but it involved mothballs.
Karen Anne Kolling wrote in to suggest that Forest Tent caterpillars are not the terrible defoliators I described thm as--Eastern Tent caterpillars are. Her source was not impeccable --Wikipedia --while the the insect guides seem to think otherwise. Still, her advice to let the moth go was attractive.
Amy Campbell sent in words of advice supported by an appealing philosophical framework. Very persuasive
According to a philosophy delineated in The Little Prince, you become responsible for whoever or whatever you have "tamed." Since the moth came under your wing, so to speak, as a caterpillar, you, if not tamed it, at least you sort of domesticated it by providing it with a safe environment and food for it to carry on its life cycle. A second premise is the understanding that you accept the characteristics of whatever you have tamed,the good and the bad- thorns, as in the LIttle Prince's rose, I suppose warts, personality defects, defoliating habits and all. There are some people who might propose your responsibility was to the caterpillar and not the moth, so you could possibly rationalize a rapid dispatching of the moth. However, I go along with the Little Prince and think the only thing to do is to free the moth. You are the moth's mother, in a way! So, let it go! ( And whisper apologies to the trees!)
Finally, Betty Jo from California wrote :
We who are tender hearted toward wild animals are tender hearted to all life. You could just "accidently" open the window and let it go!
So I did.