Trapping Insects

Beetle Trap - Container placed in ground and left for a period of time.

Berlese Funnel - Light that attracts insects that fall into container.

Sweep netting - Can be specific for dragonflies or other insects or random sweeping through grass.

Malaise Trap - Setup and left for long periods and checked weekly. Insects fall into alcohol or some other liquid. Good for checking an area over long periods.

Pan Trap - Some liquid placed in bowl and left out. Collects specimens that fall into the liquid.

Bucket Trap These traps work well to place and leave all night. The light and funnel assembly can be purchased from Bioquip and the bucket is a standard 5 gallon that can be purchased from places like Home Depot. I add a parts divider in the bottom to help keep things split. This helps to keep beetles from moving around the whole bucket and messing up the moth specimens. I also add egg cartons to give the moths something to cling to and hide. I place a kill jar (Bioquip) with ethyl acetate to calm or kill the insects. You need to purchase a motorcycle type battery to power the lights.


Another method of collecting is to make a mixture of beer and brown sugar. I add brown sugar to a can of beer till it makes a thin paste. This mixture should be made a couple of days before using and let set outside to ferment. The mixture is then spread on trees using a paint brush. I like to paint about a dozen trees along a trail. You need to mark the trees so that they can be found after dark. Moths are attracted to the mixture and can be collected after dark. Be very quiet when approaching the trees as the moths can be skittish. I like to put a piece of red cellophane over the flashlight as this red light doesn't spook the moths as much.