Some tips for beginners
Here are some tips, all from experience, which may help if you are getting started.
- Stuff your trap full with small egg boxes. The half-dozen size (or similarly cut-down sections from larger trays) are best and easier to handle and inspect one at a time. Filling your trap also keeps the moths settled and obviously increases capacity.
- Get a net. See our Links page for equipment suppliers. A net is an invaluable aid and can been used for catching moths as they attempt to fly off in the morning or those that fly at dusk or about the trap at night.
- On a similar note, do visit your trap at night if you can: and net or pot anything of interest. You often get some good moths this way that don't appear in the trap in the morning. This also gives a good 'mothing experience', even if it may just be in your garden!
- Pot's - I tend to use the clear, circular, plastic boxes of 60mm diameter (Watkins and Doncaster product codes E603 and E604). Anything similar will be great. Some prefer square plastic boxes or conventional card pill-boxes. See equipment suppliers on Links for the sort of things that are available.
- If moths are lively and won't stay still for an identification, pop them in the fridge for half and hour (in their pots). Most moths are quite happy for a long while chilled in this way.
- Don't worry about the confused and difficult species to start with. Most are fairly common and you will get your 'eye in' in time.
- Checkout the What's on the wing tonight page for moths you may catch. This is listed in order of the probability that you will catch them. Familiarise yourself with the top ten or so each week and you will find your recognition skills kick in when they do appear in your trap.