I would like to be able to trap live moths in my garden. Last year I managed to identify several moths and moth caterpillars without trapping them and I'd like to be able to find out what is about at night, when I can't see them.
I've had a look on the Internet and the traps on offer seemed a bit expensive. Can anyone suggest somewhere good for buying something like this please? Or is it possible to make something? I need something that will trap but not harm the moths so that I can photograph them and try to identify them.
I see no ones answered this so I'll just throw my pence worth in. I was in the same position as you two years ago and to be frank, I can't afford expensive kit for a hobby no matter how much I love it. The way I see it you have a several options.
1. Would be to put out a light and hang a white sheet or better yet a white shower curtain sheet. Place the lamp behind the sheet, I knew of someone using the clothes line to hang the sheet with the light behind it on dry nights you could use an ordinary house lamp. I did something similar which might sound really odd but it worked great. We lived in the upstairs flat so no outside access easily, I would close the room off, put a lamp by the window with an energy saving bulb in it, shut down all the lights in the room, and open the window. They stayed relatively close to the light, I put some egg cartons near it, I would pot them into insect pots photograph them, and release them out the front window. It was fun and I learned a lot, and it of course cost virtually nothing.
2. Another option is to build your own trap, which is what we wound up doing in the end. I was lucky that I'm married to an electronics engineer and had a carpenter as our neighbour so just cost me for the materials. In the end I did wind up spending as much as some of the skinner traps you can buy, however our trap design has perspex sides (bit costly) and a carring handle, was made of much more durable thicker wood, AND we built 2 1/2 traps for about 150.00 including electrics, we use a 40w Actinic so that we can run off mains or battery.
You can get plans online for building your own skinner style trap which can be hooked up with either a Mercury Vapour or Actinic light system. Here is the link:
For the electrics I would recommend a gentleman by the name of Paul Batty here is a link to his site:
He is a genius and sells everything from fully made traps of all kinds to just the electrics which he is also very user friendly giving advice and helping you with just what you exactly need. He could probably give you loads of advice if you have anyone or are even slightly good with electrics, to get you hooked up and running.
3. Buy a ready made trap, there are some that are just crazy simple, for example if you have a pound shop anywhere near you, you've seen those big square storage tubs made of plastic outside, well hes got a trap with a funel, one of those storage containers, and a round actinic light for sale. I think the ready made stuff is a bit expensive if I'm honest but if I was going to buy a ready made trap it would be from Paul he's no more expensive than anywhere else really and I along with 100s of other moffers trust him.
Moths are absolutely gorgeous, some are much more beautiful than many of our butterflies and they come to you, imagine the hours of fun...haha
Hope this helps you some.