Some people simply see moths as a pest that they want to keep away from their wool or as a visitor to their porch light. While most moths are not very colorful like their butterfly cousins, they are beautiful in their own way and are very interesting critters. In an effort to learn more about the moths in my yard, I invested a few bucks and created a somewhat portable moth light. Its only requirement is a power outlet and a place to hang the sheet. The idea is that the light attracts moths and other insects to a white sheet for easy viewing. Here are the materials I used:
- 2 work lights with clamps. I happened to have these already, but they
are about $5-7 at the hardware store
- Black light bulbs – I got these CFL ones at Wal-mart (sorry Wal-mart haters, but no place else had them). If you could find a bigger bulb, you may not need two bulbs.
- An old tripod – a new one would work too. I use this as a stand for
the lights, so many things could serve this purpose.
- A white sheet – 100% cotton is preferred because it glows best with
the black light
I set this up in our little condo “backyard” in Auust by stringing a rope between a fence and the house. I turned it on just as it was getting dark and waited a while. Even after 15 minutes, small micromoths started to come. Within 30 minutes, moths started to show up and some other insects too. Here is a taste of what was seen. Thanks to Seabrooke Leckie for help with most of the IDs. Have you tried this yourself? I was amazed how easy it was.
9666 - Spodoptera frugiperda - Fall Armyworm (Female)