How to Make a Moth Trap

Written by erin ringwald
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Moths can be destructive creatures. If they are wax moths, they will eat wood when they are larvae. Gypsy moths eat foliage. Traditionally people would use mothballs to repel moths. However, mothballs are toxic and have an unpleasant smell. Instead of using mothballs, some people use commercial moth traps. Unfortunately, because of their design, moths can generally find their way back out, defeating the purpose. You can build your own moth trap out of an empty plastic bottle that is much more effective at trapping and keeping the moths trapped.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Bottle
  • Water
  • Dish soap
  • Nail clippers
  • Twine
  • Vinegar
  • Sugar
  • Banana peel

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  1. 1

    Use an empty plastic drink bottle. Sports drink bottles work well because they have a bulbous top and a smaller lower section. This larger top section encourages the moths to fly upward and they are less likely find a way out. Clean the bottle by rinsing with warm water and dish soap. This will help keep the sticky drink off of your hands while you complete the rest of your trap.

  2. 2

    Use toe nail clippers to cut four slots around the bottle. Use the file part on the nail clippers to poke a hole and then use the clipper end to snip away the slot. The slots should be located just below the bulbous neck. Each slot should be approximately one and quarter inches by three-eighths of an inch. They should run horizontal to the bottom of the bottle and look similar to a coin slot in a vending machine.

  3. 3

    Cut a one foot length of twine. Tie both ends around the neck of the bottle to make a hanger. You may need to adjust the length of the twine based on you're the size of the bottle and where you plan to hang your trap.

  4. 4

    Add two to three inches of liquid at the bottom of the trap. Use a funnel to pour it in. If you are trying to catch wax moths, mix one cup of white distilled vinegar, one cup table sugar, and one banana peel in a pitcher. Mix thoroughly until the sugar is complete dissolved. This mixture will attract wax moths and will also drown the moths if they fly down into the liquid looking for a place to rest. You can store the extra mixture in this pitcher for future use. If you are trying to catch gypsy moths, add two to three inches of water. Add a splash of dish soap after the water is added, to avoid bubbles.

  5. 5

    Hang the trap on a tree limb, near a moth hives or where you are experiencing a moth infestation. Do not hang the bottle near a door, otherwise they will find their way in your home when you open the door.

  6. 6

    Empty the bottle periodically by removing the lid ad pouring out the moths and the liquid. Add additional liquid the same way you did originally. Do not hang the bottle near a door otherwise the moths may entire your home when you come and go.

Tips and warnings

  • Male moths are the only ones who fly. The females cannot fly so you will not be able to catch them.

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