Spring mothing - have you tried bait?

I haven't yet, but I noticed some interesting observations recently at bait and I asked Stuart Tingley (@stubirdnb) about his observations, and he sent the following:

"All of the 'serious' moth people here in NB always bait in spring. My first moths are almost always at bait before any appear at the lights. The first moth reports here almost always come from maple syrup producers who find moths getting into their sap buckets before anyone sees any at their lights. The bait is also great for attracting early beetles, day and night.

I'm not fussy about bait recipes. I mash up a couple of ripe or overripe bananas, add a few tablespoons of brown sugar and sprinkle in a teaspoon or so of powdered yeast. I think it works best if you let it sit in a sealed container at room temperature for a couple of days but sometimes I use it fresh and it still works. If it gets too runny I just add some oatmeal to thicken it up. We have a woodlot just 75 meters from the house and I bait a half dozen deciduous tree trunks along the edge or just inside the forest. I usually reapply every couple of days or right after it rains or snows.

All the best!


I spoke to Dave Beadle about this topic and he passed along a suggestion from Mary Gartshore - she has had success getting pinions and sallows on small branches, as well as the trunk. So try different spots on the tree as well.


Posted by dkaposi dkaposi, April 14, 2020 03:22



I have never had any success with bait. maybe i should try again!

Posted by jollygoodyellow 5 months ago (Flag)

I've tried bait just a couple times, but I've not had any success...

@annikaml has some great bait recipes -- I almost want to lick the branches with the bait. :)

Posted by sambiology 5 months ago (Flag)

I think I saw you actually suck on one of the strings I had soaked in bait once, @sambiology! ;-)

I add some dark rum or flat, dark beer, too. Otherwise it's about the same as mentioned above, overripe fruit (bananas or mango) and brown sugar. Need to try adding a little bit of dry yeast. I do get a lot of ants, but also moths that never come to the lights.

Posted by annikaml 5 months ago (Flag)

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