Last weekend, we were doing a survey called Moth Night. Moth Night happens at the end of August each year. This year, it happened from 27th – 29th August. We did it on 29th August.
You have to try to attract moths to your garden and identify them, then you submit your findings to Moth Night through the website.
We made wine ropes to put up and we put a sugar mixture on wood around our garden to attract moths.
To make the wine ropes, we heated up wine and sugar. We cut some strips of old towel and soaked them in the mixture. Then we took the strips out and hung them in our garden.
To make the sugar mixture, we heated up brown ale, sugar and treacle. Then we used paintbrushes to paint it onto wood and tree trunks around our garden.
We also put our moth trap out overnight.
We went out in the evening just after dark to look for moths. We had a look at all the places where we had put sugar and wine ropes.
On the wine ropes, we found 3 common wainscot moths and a few other moths that we couldn’t identify.
On the sugar mixture we found 1 old lady moth, 1 lesser yellow underwing and a few other moths that we couldn’t identify.
In the morning we found loads of wasps!
We checked our moth trap first thing in the morning and we took some jars to put the moths in so we could identify them. These are the things we found: 1 silver Y moth, 3 Hebrew character moths, 3 lesser yellow underwings, 1 common wainscot moth and 1 angle shades moth.
Now I’m going to tell you some more about moths and why they are so important. Moths are very important for pollinating lots of different plants at night time. Moths and caterpillars are also a very important food for other animals like bats and birds, so if the number of moths goes down, the number of bats will go down too!
The number of moths is going down! The number of moths has gone down by about a third since the 1960s and more than 60 species of moth became extinct during the 20th century.
Some people think moths aren’t very important and that all moths eat clothes, but no: there are 2500 different species of moths in the UK and only 7 damage fabrics.
Some ways you can help moths are by growing plants that moths and caterpillars like. Moths especially like plants that smell nice at night like honeysuckle, jasmine, night-scented stock and evening primrose.
Caterpillars are very fussy and usually only like a particular type of plant or maybe a few different types, so it’s good to grow lots of different plants for lots of different caterpillars. Not mowing your lawn too often is good for moths and other pollinators and not cutting your hedge too often is good too. It’s good to leave overgrown areas and bits of dead plants like hollow stems and dead leaves for moths to hide in. Don’t use pesticides and weed killer because they can hurt moths! Joining in with surveys like Moth Night can help find out more about moths and how they are doing.
Why don’t you look for moths in your garden!