If you are looking for an interesting activity for the summer holidays, then look no further. Our moth expert Kevin Hewitt has put together some useful tips for how to get the most out of moth trapping and to explore the wonders of this secretive group of insects:

Everyone will be surprised by what is flying around their gardens at night. Yes, you may be seeing bats or hear an owl BUT there are many more creatures on the wing tonight. Having trapped moths in my urban garden in South East Wales for nearly seven years I have identified over 500 moths! They are large, small and microscopic, brown, white, bright green and come in every shape imaginable. 

 

Photo credit: Buff-tip (top) and buff arches (below) by Kevin Hewitt

First we were all trapped in a lockdown vortex of “what can I do now?” but now with the summer holidays just having started and lots of us spending them near home this year, many of us are once again looking for interesting activities for the whole family. So why not giving moth trapping a go? Finding moths in your garden could be one way of increasing your knowledge of the biodiversity of your garden. The way I have found my moths was by purchasing a Robinson moth trap.

Photo credit: Robinson moth trap by Kevin Hewitt

There are more affordable options like making your own. There are - as ever - many options and choices, from a very simple bright light plus a white sheet to smaller DIY traps, up to the more sophisticated purpose-built traps, and you can even attract moths with a fluorescent tube-type bulb in your house and leave a window open. A very good introduction to moth trapping can be found on the BBC Winterwatch blog here.

For some ideas on how to build your own moth trap, just search on YouTube using the keywords “Homemade DIY Moth Traps” and lots of videos will appear of all sorts of moth traps that people have created over the years.

Another very useful start-up guide for moth trapping can be found on the Garden Moth Scheme site here.

Photo credit: Canary-shouldered thorn by Kevin Hewitt

Some of the moths that are currently on the wing are antler moth, black arches, buff arches, Canary-shouldered thorn, herald moth, ruby tiger and sallow kitten. They are all out there, around us every night, you just have to go and find them!

Photo credit: Sallow kitten by Kevin Hewitt

Kevin Hewitt

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