Obviously the UK population have just the right idea, most of the moths I see are trying to eat cloths, some other item around the house or veg on the allotment so they are very nasty things!
But seriously it is interesting that so many people do have a negative opinion of them, perhaps if they saw the wide range of beautiful species they might change their mind.
One thing I don’t understand about moths is that there are a huge number of species of them in UK but you rarely see their catterpillars unless they are eating your crops or cloths so what are all those other catterpillars doing and where do they live?
It’s butterfly caterpillars (Pieris) that are the bigger problem on the allotment. I can’t offhand think of a moth which is a particular problem on the allotment, as opposed to beetles, sawflies and aphids.
Cinnabar moth caterpillars can be quite prominent (usually on ragwort).
A lot of moths have caterpillars that are leaf miners. (The currently prominent one is the horse chestnut leaf miner, where has outrun its predators, and can produce a high infestation rate of Aesculus.)
Leek moth (eats leeks),
Death’s-head Hawkmoth (eats potatoes), not a big issue yet in UK
loads of moths on fruit e.g. codlin moth on apples
these are just a handful I could think of in a few moments.
Lots of them have nocturnal feeding habits and hide during the day. So for instance loads of these (https://www.ispotnature.org/communities/uk-and-ireland/view/observation/779394/pale-caterpillar) really obvious on Marram Grass after dark but none to be seen the next day in the light (https://www.ispotnature.org/communities/uk-and-ireland/view/observation/779392/grass-at-the-coast)
Do you go looking for them at night?
Here is the link to https://butterfly-conservation.org/moths/why-moths-matter/mothsmatter
which is referred to in the newspaper article.
I may have given Moths a Bad Reputation in iSpot! Sorry, but…