It’s a fun hobby of drawing moths to a collecting sheet using a light source. Though moths are nocturnal they are drawn to light sources like porch lights, UV lights, mercury vapor lights, and retina searing 400 watt metal halid lights.
Please bring a flashlight or wear a head lamp. Bring with you whatever will make you comfortable such as an outdoor chair, non-alcoholic beverage, snacks. We suggest bringing a camera and field guide.
There are some fairly common moths we expect to see, but let’s be honest: we’re all hoping that Mothra will appear! Ok, it’s always cool when some of the Big Ones grace us with their presence.
Moths are very important insects! Reasons to love moths: pollinators, indicator species, food for other critters. Yes, there are those moths that eat crops, carpets, wool sweaters, and laugh maniacally when you act so afraid of them. But a world without moths would not be a very pleasant world.
In addition to our collecting sheets we provide UV protective eyewear, sunscreen, field guide, lighted magnifying glass, and hopefully interesting conversation.
All observations made on our collecting sheets are submitted as records to the Moths of North Carolina database website. You are welcome to submit your sightings to other citizen science websites like iNaturalist.
Our set-up of two collecting sheets uses a combination of either a 160 watt mercury vapor bulb, 400 watt metal halide bulb, and a 40 watt UV 24 inch tube. We use the different lights because different wavelengths of light attract different types of moths.
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