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Sugaring for Moths

Sugaring for Moths

August 14, 2023

We see butterflies all the time during the day, but have you ever wanted to see and learn more about moths? By making a recipe of your own creation, you can attract moths to a specific spot and study them. One this you should know is moths are usually out at night and not during the day. The best part of making a sugaring recipe, is it does not have to be exact and you can make many different versions. Try using any combination of the following materials and see what works best to attract moths in your area!

Suggested Materials:

Use any combination of the materials below. You want the consistency to be easy to spread but not drip.

- Water

- Brown Sugar

- Overripe Bananas

- Molasses

- Dry Yeast

- White Sugar

- Honey

- Maple Syrup

- Rotting Watermelon

- Cola

- Orange Soda

- Fermenting Peaches, Pears, or Apples

- Black Treacle


1. Combine any of the above materials to create a spreadable mixture.

2. In the late afternoon or evening, use a spoon or brush to spread the mixture onto a rock or tree. You can also hang a sponge from a tree with the mixture on it.

3. Once the sun has gone down, check the places where you put the mixture. Do you have moths? If not, let it sit a little longer – remember, moths don’t come out until nighttime. Are all of the moths the same? How do they look different? Try looking up the different types of moths you have attracted!

What’s happening? Moths and butterflies have many things in common – they grow from caterpillars and they have scales covering the bodies and wings – but they have differences too. Butterflies are diurnal (awake during the day) while moths are nocturnal (awake at night). Like butterflies, moths also have a proboscis, which is a long tongue-like mouthpiece used for drinking nectar from flowers and fruits.

Using sweet things, like brown sugar and bananas, in your sugaring mixture attracts moths and gives them a food source, while putting your mixture out during the evening allows them to find it during their regular awake hours. What else can you learn from watching the moths?