Mothing On A Budget

   It has always baffled me why folks spend three to four hundred pounds on a moth trap, when in reality it’s a plastic tub with a light on top! While the state of the art, all singing and dancing moth trap may look the part, in my experience I have found the moths to be less discerning. Just check your porch light or leave the bathroom window open one night with the light on. Light is the attraction and retaining the moths is the key to success.

   I have experimented with various methods, scouring the internet for ideas, adopting some and rejecting others but truthfully you can DIY a moth trap for £50. I live on a council estate surrounded by houses and blocks of flats but have still managed to record over 400 species in my back garden. Many dull and uninteresting but many stunning and fascinating. To think as we lie in our beds, the sky around us is alive with activity! If you have the slightest interest in the wonderful world around us, mothing opens up another incredible  avenue of observing life.

Moth trap shopping list;

  • Plastic storage tub with clip down lid – B&Q £20
  • Funnel – Bigger Jugs £10
  • Light fittings – Any electrical shop £5
  • Arcadia 23w 10% UV reptile bulb – Pet shops
  • Perspex vanes (to support bulb above box) – free offcuts from a sign shop

   Next month when I’m more organised I’ll write a method with photos on how to construct your moth trap. It’s not difficult and you’ll soon be trapping away in your garden. If anyone requires more detail, I’d be happy to answer your queries. Email me at

   Back to Ladywalk then and another good night of trapping on Friday, looking through the catch early Saturday morning. Conditions overnight were a bit breezy, with cloud cover and 7 degrees celsius. We set up the two traps in the usual positions. Numbers were down from last month but a new suite of species were enjoyed, a nice variety. Highlight was probably the Chocolate-tip, so beautiful. A couple of moths went unidentified or at least unsure, so if anyone can help with id, just comment below.

Species List;

Clouded Border 2, Iron Prominent 4, Chocolate-tip 1, Flame Carpet 1, Hebrew Character 3, Ruddy Streak 1, Pale Pinion 1, Red-green Carpet 1, Coxcomb Prominent 1, Common Pug 2, Light Brown Apple Moth 2, Brindled Beauty 2, Common Quaker 2, Clouded Drab 5, Flame Shoulder 1, Pug sp. 2, Micro sp. 1.

David Eaton


3 thoughts on “Mothing On A Budget

  1. I would say the pug is either Brindled or Oak-tree and would lean toward Oak-tree Pug due to the rounder wings and the pale patch by the discal spot.
    Great write up by the way, interested to read the next installment, I’ve try to make my own traps but struggle with the electrics due to ballast/load requirements etc


    • Thanks Lee. I agree with your moth assessment. Next month more details about how to make the trap and overcome those issues.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s