Unlock the cage with two of the three keys to release the imp. Which keys will change each time. The cage makes a sound your opponent can hear and recognize. In between stealing embers, the imp will wait on the sidelines. Your opponent can shoot it down while it's stealing embers or sitting idle. It's best used while your opponent is busy watching a lot of other things and doesn't notice it sneaking around.
The imp can be dispelled. It can also be eliminated with 3 fully charged shots, or 1 fully charged shot and a bunch of little shots. However, it is easiest to target when its going for your gems, or sitting on a ledge somewhere in the map between gem spawns.