I Tried The Makeshift Brown-tail Moth Trap. Here’s What Happened
"Mom--it looks like a snowstorm out there!"
That's what my daughter said last night when she let the dog out. I peeked my head around the corner, and sure enough, I saw just what she was talking about: a beautiful white flurry circling around the light outside the door.
Only this wasn't snow, but something more sinister. These were brown-tail moths. And while their pure white, fluffiness is indeed pretty, what they're up to (trying to lay a bunch of eggs that will eventually become those fuzzy, nasty caterpillars with toxic hair) is not pretty at all.
People all over Maine have been posting pictures of doors, walls, and driveways covered with these creatures.
Like most moths, these ones are attracted to light, so they frequent places that are illuminated.
And my house has been no exception. Every time I get done squishing a couple of dozen of these things, a couple dozen more have landed in their stead.
Needless to say, I don't want them coming to hang out at my place. And I have seen folks say that you should turn your outside lights off a night to prevent them from being attracted to your home. But I rely on that extra layer of safety a well-lit house provides from those who use the cover of night to do things they ought not. So that's not an option for me.
Last year, I had also seen multiple online articles about these pests and the idea of creating a make-shift moth trap to help reduce their numbers. So the kids and I decided to give that a try.
The idea was pretty simple: Fill a bucket with water and if possible, put some glow-sticks in the bottom to attract the moths.
I didn't have glow sticks, but I put the bucket right under the outside light and crossed my fingers.
This is what we woke up to the next morning:
There was a very easy-to-stomp layer of half-dead moths on the ground in the area around the bucket.
I'd say that while I didn't manage to kill the hundreds I had hoped to the first go-round, I still managed more than had I done nothing.
I'll definitely be trying it again with the glow stick tonight to see if that helps. It's a pretty simple way to do my part to help cut the number of these little buggers down by a good bit. You should try it for yourself.