Make a sugary moth trap

Moths are beautiful animals but it can sometimes be hard to spot them. There are a number of ways to make a safe moth trap and this is one that does not involve light. Many species of moths – just like butterflies – feed on nectar which is full of sugar, so they will be attracted to the sweet sticky cloths as they fly around at night. This won’t harm them, but will give you a chance to observe them while they feed.

What you will need:

  • A bottle of cheap red wine
  • Sugar (1kg)
  • Saucepan
  • Some lengths of cloth (1 metre each)

How to make your sugary moth trap:

    1. Mix the wine and sugar together and gently heat until all the sugar has dissolved.
    2. Once cool – soak the cloths in the sugary liquid.
    3. Hang the cloths over some tree branches.
    4. Wait for a few hours after dark.
    5. Check your trap!
    6.  You could use a camera to take photos of what you see, and if you have an ID book or phone app, have a go at working out what species you find.

This video shows you how to make nature potions in a jar and how to make moth brew (sugary moth trap).

Share your moth trap photos using #DiscoverLearnPlay


Time to complete

3-5 hours

Suitable for age

Suitable location

Resource Level

Curriculum linked

Sciences (Ecology, biology, natural history, planet Earth topic)

Technologies (Food technology)

Numeracy and Mathematics (Number and measure)


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