Dust off the Moth Trap

29th May 2009
With the warmer weather I have started to get larger numbers of moths coming to my moth trap. These are a fantastic way to get a large variety of creatures into your back garden and all potential photography models.

People who have never used a moth trap before are amazed at the variety and colouring of the moths that most of us never see. It is also a fantastic way to get children involved in wildlife, they can be involved in setting up the box in the evening and then the excitement of the examination in the morning and never being sure what you've caught.

I find that I get more moths if I site the box near tall stemmed plants or grasses. This allows moths to not only enter the trap but also you will find many more in the two metre square around the trap resting on plant stems etc. Once I have collected these moths and dropped them into the trap, the box is placed somewhere out of the sun while I work out the best backgrounds or perches for taking photographs. The old style of egg box is also useful to place into the bottom of the trap for the moths to rest on. The best time to release the moths is the following evening, just leave the lid off and the moths will depart in their own time as darkness falls.

There is always a debate about making your own trap or a spending a larger amount of money for a commercially produced one. I think it is possible to get all the bits together and make one for under £40, however, I eventually bought a unit for around £60. I have put a link to the website in case anyones interested. I don't have any links with the supplier other than I bought the trap about four years ago and its still going strong.

Last nights haul included three different types of hawk moths (the big ones). The elephant hawk moth, these are the large pink ones, a privet hawk moth, these are massive and a poplar hawk moth that tries to look like a bunch of dead leaves. There are numerous smaller moths of varying colours which I need to identify.

As you can see a magnificent wildlife experience on your own doorstep!

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