Moth House

/ in Traps by Marek

Following the first few deployments of my 160w mercury vapour self ballasting bulb the comments from my immediate neighbours were positive in that they could see the certain benefits as back bedrooms were not used for sleeping purposes.

My trap was so bright that they no longer needed to turn on the light in the bathroom if the need arose for a visit to the loo, which they seemed quite pleased about.

During the next weeks I positioned the trap in various locations around my suburban garden to try to find the most suitable spot for recording purposes with a view to conceal the light as much as possible.

My garden is quite long and separated into two parts - nearest the house is laid to lawn and surrounded by borders adorned with bedding plants and through the gate is a vegetable patch.

The area nearest the house seemed to be the best idea as I could take the pictures of the potted moths on a low plastic shed which is used for storing the lawn mower.

If I used the rear garden it meant that I would either have to carry the pots individually to this shed or the trap itself with possible escapees as a consequence of the movement.

My final choice was actually determined by the English weather, unsurprisingly, as wind and rain plays an important factor when moth trapping as you can probably imagine.

After experiencing the joys of soggy egg boxes and once occupied pots being blown around the garden I came up with the idea that putting the trap in the greenhouse on such evenings and leaving the door open may prove to be less stressful.

For the most part this idea was in fact successful in that any moths finding the door were glad of some shelter.

The downside, however, was that the greenhouse is only 6 by 4 and situated in the lower garden thus taking pictures of insects posing on my cucumbers and chilli peppers in a confined space proved to be rather taxing.

Also, as discovered later, attracting moths to a working greenhouse is not the best of ideas if you are looking to grow a quality product.

The combination of lack of space followed by then having to deal with the moths in the trap ruled out this approach as a long term solution.

However a thought suddenly occurred to me that maybe I could adapt and utilise a folly located in the lawned garden which stood next to my makeshift photography table and was only a few strides from the kitchen door where I could dive in for shelter if necessary.

The folly was a structure I'd built with help of a friend (B) comprising of a metal frame with attached trellis and covered with two sheets of plastic as a roof, underneath which I had placed a bench seat so that my wife could shy away from the sun to read her books.

This was in fact a folly as, although I was pleased with my labours, my wife was not quite so keen to use it for this purpose which meant that although the honeysuckle and clementis were starting to establish they were never going to provide the ambience
I had hoped for.

Suffice to say the folly gradually turned into the functional moth house of today and has gone through many stages of metamorphosis since the idea was originally conceived in 2011.

For example an inner frame lined with 0.5 mm thick clear PVC plastic blade forms the sides of the house itself and is fitted with a 1cm perspex sliding door but still leaves the rear open for access (and escape) of my quarry.

Other changes, tweaks etc carried out may be mentioned in subsequent posts when relevant.

A greenhouse we converted into a moth house by remove the side and roof panels and strenghtening with treillis
No longer a Folly