Trap Introduction

/ in Traps, Equipment by Marek

Upon the realization that the majority of moths were active only at night meant that I would have to come up with a different plan if I were to continue to send examples for identification.

After some research it became obvious that I would need a trap of some description to encourage my subjects into the garden.

Whilst looking for manufacturers on the internet it became apparent that lepidopterist supplies were a captive market so to speak with prices for the trap and light being rather too steep for a project which I may or may not continue with into the future.

This didn’t pose much of a problem however in that as an engineer and keen DIYer I thought I would be able to knock up something suitable for the task.

Using odd bits of wood from the garage I produced something that looked vaguely like a skinner trap, the dimensions being determined by the size of the only two pieces of glass I had lying around.

All I needed now was a light to adorn the box the two choices being mercury vapour or actinic.

At the time I wasn’t too sure why I needed a special bulb as the one in the bathroom was a bog standard 60 watt filament and managed encourage the Mulien Wave to visit I decided in the end that the cheapest option by far was a self-ballasting 160 watt mercury vapour bulb with a E27 fitting which would give me an added advantage of experimenting later with different bulbs.

In fact I did manage a couple of preliminary runs while waiting for the MV to arrive with but with marginal success.

When all my new bulb arrived I was able to complete my project and commenced to the testing phase in a darkened garage.

Well everything appeared to be in order but I must admit I was rather taken aback with the brightness of the bulb which I was intending turning on at night in the back garden.

An encased lightbulb over an open crate which was our first trap

The neighbours were in for a surprise and no mistake.

A note of caution here with regard to safety:
It is not a good idea to look directly at the light as it will damage your eyes and when I researched further it is also a good idea to get a mesh surround for the bulb in case it shatters. Undeterred however my new experiment was placed the following evening in the middle of the lawn with great expections for the morning.

The box is sadly decommissioned but the light still shines