Tomas Mustelin's "Kitty litter" light trap

Tomas Mustelin

 You are visitor number   since 17 December 2007 

Tomas Mustelin has designed an easy to make and very lightweight trap that uses commerical-grade 28% ammonia as the killing agent.


Building instructions:

The tip of funnel was cut shorter. A hole was drilled into the lid to fit the funnel very snugly and deep enough to allow the blacklight to swing freely inside the funnel (i.e. without blocking the opening).

The metal piece was bent and secured to the bucket on two sides with two nuts and bolts on each side. A short bungee cord was fitted on each side between the two bolts (to keep from falling off) and adjusted to keep the funnel tightly in place.

The little plastic jar was fitted with a mesh top to prevent moths from falling into the ammonia, but allowing ammonia to be freely poured in or out of the jar. Two small holes were drilled into the side of the bucket at mid-height and a metal wire was fitted through to make a sturdy ring, into which the plastic jar fits snugly, but can be removed easily for filling or emptying.

Finally, the blacklight was affixed to the top of the arch and its wire secured along its side.

I often put paper tissue and empty egg cartons inside the bucket, particularly if a heavy catch is expected. In anticipation of possible rain, I sometimes place a flat and larger jar (covered like the ammonia jar with mesh) on the bottom of the trap right under the funnel to catch incoming water.

In 'transportation mode' the funnel and blacklight wire and ballast fit easily inside the bucket.

For heavy catches or very warm nights, I fill the ammonia jar almost full, for colder nights and small expected catches less than half is fine - in fact, I have never tested how little 28% ammonia would suffice.

Ammonia keeps the moths fresh and 'spreadable' for extended time and green colors are not affected, the only color alteration I am aware of is the loss of the pink hues of Schinia felicitata.