Travel Moth Traps

/ in Traps by Marek


A photo of a portable crayfish trap resting on a river bank
Cray Trap

Gazing dreamily out of a hotel room window in Tilburg the evening prior to our long-awaited rock concert a thought came to me.

 Wouldn’t it be a great idea if we had a mini moth trap to place by the window just to see if anything of interest would appear.

Having the 12v portable Heath moth trap which we take with us on our travels, the problem would be the battery, charger etc really, as we need to travel as light as possible and not to make the hobby too obvious.

A small trap running off standard AA batteries purchased locally was possibly the answer.

Since that whimsical thought there have been several attempts to achieve this goal.

Although these efforts have largely been unsuccessful a greater knowledge for what is required has been gained.

Mark 1 was inspired by a visit to Lidl where we re-engineered an insect killing trap into a more friendly insect attracting model. 

A 2x2 grid of photos showing off our first portal trap protoype, a battery powered LED light suspended above a plastic storage tub filled with egg cartons
Fortunately the heat’s off

This first attempt was mainly unsuccessful due to the short life of the batteries, and any moths avoiding the cleverly concealed trap underneath.

Further work was carried out on this boat anchor with the addition of a light sensor and USB phone charger but all to no avail, so it was back to the think tank.

Mark 2, although more successful having replaced the first light for a converted counterfeit bill detector and a redesign of the trap itself still didn’t solve the problem.

Changing the existing tube for a 4w UV and settling for a more conventional skinner design did nothing to fix the battery issue, either.

To overcome this for our trip to Ireland we purchased a 6V 12Ah Sealed Lead Acid Battery which proved successful in keeping the tube going for a night but didn’t attract many moths, and weight wise defeated the object of the experiment anyway. 

A photo of our mark 2 portable trap in the wild
Boat Anchor 2

On our return it was back to the think tank where I mulled the idea of an LED alternative which might resolve the battery life issue, but would it attract moths? 

Our ‘proof of concept’ makeshift attempt was a complete failure but did gave us food for thought – What if! 

A photo of our third protoype trap, a LED torch wedging open a cardboard box with windows cut out in the top
It’s me Heathkit I’m home again.

What if there is now something on the market to cater for our needs? 

Maybe the Moonlander Moth Trap and GemLight SUPER is the answer we have been searching for.

The subject of our next blog post.