DIY Moth Trap


Moths are in the same order (Lepidoptera) as butterflies, but unlike butterflies, moths are nocturnal and some species are pests. The gypsy moth, which is one of the most destructive moth pests, belongs to the family Lymantriidae. Gypsy moth larvae feed on plants and trees, causing considerable damage, such as defoliation, to hardwoods and conifers. According to Gypsy Moth Alert, moth traps purchased in stores result in some success; however, a number of moths escape the trap. Make your own moth trap with just a few simple household objects.

Things You'll Need

  • Empty plastic juice bottle
  • Scissors
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Hammer
  • Twine
  • Dish soap
  • Rubber gloves
  • Tape
  • Moth pheromone strip
  • Punch small holes around the upper part of the juice bottle with the pointy end of the scissors. For best results, make sure the bottle has a bulging top and a skinnier middle.

  • Cut four holes about 1 1/2 inches long and 3/8 inches wide right below the bulge of the top. This is where the moths will enter.

  • Position the pointy end of a Phillips screwdriver in the center of the juice bottle cap. Hold the screwdriver in place, then hammer down on the blunt end of the screwdriver to punch a hole in the cap.

  • Remove the cap. String a piece of twine through the hole in the cap. Tie a knot in the end of the twine sticking out of the underside of the cap to keep it from going through the hole.

  • Fill the plastic bottle with about 2 inches of water, then add a couple squirts of dish soap. Slosh the water around gently to mix the soap and water, but not so hard that it produces bubbles.

  • Put on a pair of rubber gloves. Tape a strip of moth pheromone onto the underside of the cap or on the inside of the bottle. Moth pheromones are found at nurseries and garden centers.

  • Tie the other end of the twine to a tree branch that is not near the entrance of your home.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not touch the pheromone strip with your fingers, or you will attract the moths to yourself. Wash your hands thoroughly if you touch the pheromone.

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  • Photo Credit moth image by Colette MacDonald from
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