How to BlackLight for Moths
Black light (can be purchased at www.bioquip.com)
12v portable power supply.
Cord (100' of nylon camping cord)
Lawn chair - optional
Peterson Field Guide to "Eastern Moths" (or equivalent).
Small back pack with several small containers, note book and pen and flashlight.
Tie cord to permanent or portable supports about 6' off ground and forming a "U" shape. Hang the UV light in the center of the "U" according to Diagram and hook up to DC power supply. Sit in lawn chair, relax and be amazed. Log what you see (when, where, how many and of course species). If you are having trouble with identification capture the specimen in one of your containers and chill in your refrigerator at home. This will entice the moth into a semi dormant state for easier handling in order to make an accurate ID. Keep in mind though the moth will warm up within several minutes (depending on the temp) and prepare to escape. You should have ample warning of impending flight...........the moths wings start to vibrate in order to warm up flight muscles. Remember to be respectful and release your victim as soon as possible.There should be no reason to hold it for more than 24 hours.
When selecting an area to blacklight consider which moths you may be trying to attract. Then choose an area that has a good population of the host food supply. For example, if you are hoping to entice a Polyphemus to your light set up in an area that has a good supply of Maple, Ash or Birch. Very important.......moths that are attracted to UV lights don't always come to the light and end up landing on the material. They can zoom in like an air to surface missile, make a few circuits and appear to leave before you realize what it was. Well don't be too sure it has disappeared, never to be seen or heard from again. It has most likely settled down very close to what it was attracted to in the first place. I make a point of scouring the ground cover, bushes, tree trunks and low hanging branches within a 15 foot radius of the light. Frequently I will turn up a visitor that could have been overlooked.
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