Did you know that butterflies and moths are in a group called Lep-i-dop-tera? This means “scale wing” which is a perfect name for them since their wings are covered with thousands of tiny scales. Have you ever touched the wing of a butterfly or moth and then noticed a fine powder on your fingers? That’s their scales! They rub off when handled. If you looked at them under a microscope you would see how they overlap just like a fishes’ scales.
Do you know if there are more moths or more butterflies? Click HERE for a short quiz to test your knowledge.
If you want to attract moths to your yard, here are two great ways:
One is to hang a black light or ultraviolet light behind a white sheet. This draws in an amazing variety of insects, including moths. You won’t believe some of the things that you will see! You can buy a black light at a store like Spencer’s in the mall–they have a couple of different kinds, some that are less than $20. If you don’t own or want to buy a black light you can leave on a regular outdoor light and hang a white sheet under it or near it. You might not get the variety as with the ultraviolet light, but it’s a fun experiment anyway… you never know who will visit!
Another fun way to attract moths to your yard is to mix up a solution that you “paint” onto a tree at eye level. Mix a ripe banana (kids will love to smash the fruit), some stale beer (dark beers are better) or active dry yeast mixed with water. To this you can add any other fermented fruit including watermelon or pears. Put this covered in the fridge for several days, then when ready, take it out and apply it with a paintbrush to a nearby tree in your yard. The best time to watch moths is between 10 and midnight but obviously if you are wanting to sleep then, you can look sooner. On the way to your “moth bait” use a flashlight covered in red cellophane–or no flashlight at all– and walk gently so as to not scare the moths into flight. Once at the tree, you can pull off the cellophane and see what great treasures are there for you to observe. You never know what interesting things you will have waiting for you!
Let me know if this worked for you and what cool creatures you got to see. I love to hear from you! Want to test your knowledge about moths? Try a 5 question quiz HERE.