Watch for Moths in July
July is a good month to take a look at the Moth population around you, I was at a garage on Monday and the owner showed me a lovely Lime Hawk Moth, it was perched at the bottom of the entrance door to his shop and in full view of people coming in and out, it was also next to a fast and noisy road - just goes to show, when you have to take a rest then any place will do! the Lime Hawk moth stayed at the same spot for 2 days before flying off in the night.
Many people prefer to look at Butterflies, thinking them a more pretty species, but the moth can be beautiful too and is prolific in this country. There are over 2500 species of British moth, compared with around 600 butterflies.
The best way to look at moths is to set up a moth trap, it isn't as harsh as it sounds, it is just a way of getting the moth so you can see it and as long as you release it gently as soon as you are finished, it will come to no harm. It is the only way to observe these elusive creatures and once you have found how you will be enchanted by their nature.
The best time to look for moths is a mild, calm night after dark. Moths are attracted to light so you can see them anywhere there is a source of light, but if you want to trap them then you need to set up a trap. There are two ways of trapping them. A light trap, consisting of a large box and a bright light, use a cardboard box or a make a wooden one, about 600mm square, cut a hole in the top to take a funnel and place a light bulb into the box, the moths will come into the box at night and you can look at them the next morning. Place some empty egg boxes in the box so the moths can rest on something, no need to provide food or water they will be fine over night but you must release them the next morning.
Another method is to make a sugar trap, moths love sweet things. cook up a sticky mixture of 450g black treacle and 1kg brown sugar with 500ml or brown ale, cook it all together and mix thoroughly, once you have your sticky mix, paint it on to trees or in lines on a fecnce, sit back and wait. When you get a moth on the trap, take a look at him with a small torch, not too bright as it might frighten him away. Watch the moths on your sticky trap for as long as you want, they will fly off when they have had enough.
A great way to see moths up close is the solar powered insect theater
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The solar insect theater is a fantastic way to watch moths and other insects up close[/caption]