Munching Caterpillar News

Moth Night 2015

September 9, 2015

Every year Butterfly Conservation and Atropos run an event called Moth Night. Moth Night was set up as an annual celebration of moths and moth recording throughout Britain and Ireland. This year Moth Night takes place over three nights, from Thursday 10th September to Saturday 12th September.

You don’t have to have any fancy equipment or be a moth expert to take part. In fact you can take part in any way you choose! Here are some ideas on how you can get involved this year:

Attend a Moth Night Event

There are lots of events being run by experts across the whole of Britain and Ireland. Find your nearest one here: Moth Night Events

Run a Moth Trap

Moth trapping is one of the most common methods used to record moths. A moth trap is essentially an open box full of egg boxes with a very bright light sat on top of it. Moths are attracted to the light and fall down into the box where they settle on to the egg boxes. There are many suppliers of moth traps, but they can be quite pricey. Alternatively, you could use our instructions and make you own! – Make Your Own Moth Trap

Moth trap at work

Moth trap in action

Lamp and Sheet

Using a lamp and white sheet is a really easy way to see what moths are living near you. Just hang a white or light coloured sheet over a washing line (or flat on the ground) and place a bright lamp next to it. If you don’t have a lamp trying using a bright torch instead. Wait until it gets dark and see what moths or other insects come and land on the sheet.

Leave a Window Open

Possibly the easiest way of finding moths! Simply leave a light on and the window open. Contrary to popular belief only a handful of moth species (out of 2,500 in the UK) will eat the natural fibres in your clothes/carpet, and even then it’s the caterpillars that are actually munching. These moths tend to be very small and brown so don’t worry, it is very unlikely that you will be letting lots of clothes munching moths in!

If you do use this method though, make sure you are willing to catch the moths and pop them back outside after you’ve had a good look at them.

Night Explorer

Just as it’s getting dark go outside and have a look around your garden for any flying beasties. Just like butterflies and bees, moths also drink nectar so any flowers in your garden would be a good place to start your night-time moth hunt.


Did you know there are about 100 species of moth that fly in the day-time?! Why not keep an eye out for these day-flying dudes too!

Day-flying moth: Six-spot burnet

Day-flying moth: Six-spot burnet

Recording your Moths

If you can identify any of the moths you find over these three nights then the lovely people of Moth Night would love to hear what you have found! You can send your records in to them directly on their website.

BUT don’t worry if you can’t identify all of the moths you see, even the experts find it hard sometimes! If you are unsure of the moth species then just enjoy it and don’t worry about having to write it down. If you really, really want to know it’s name then there are lots of helpful groups all over social media who will be able to help you if you send them a good photograph of it.


To find out more about Moth Night and how you can record the moths you find please visit the Moth Night website.


Moths are for every night, not just Moth Night – if you enjoy finding out what moths live near you, then don’t despair you don’t have to wait until next year to do it again! Moths fly all year round and there are plenty of experts out there who will be willing to help you. Moths Count is a great website that can tell you all you need to know about moths, moth trapping, and recording. Your County Moth Recorder will be able to offer you help and advice too.


Vestal – a common migrant species this time of year.

Good luck and Happy Moth’ing!