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Wax Moth Trap

waxmoth trap as constructed by myself  

This idea has been published many times on various discussion groups so it is impossible to attribute it to any individual.

I have made one for myself, I have tested it for several years and it has trapped many wax moths of both Achroia grisella (Lesser) and Galleria mellonella (Greater) species as well as a few wasps. Also a few other flying insects, but no bees. The years that I used the traps were years when wax moths were particularly rampant.

It is simply constructed from a 2 litre plastic drinks bottle. The one that I have made and drawn at left is of clear plastic, but amber or other colours should not be a problem as I believe that the attraction is by smell.

A 30 mm diameter hole is cut in the side of the bottle, just below the shoulder of the neck.

I was originally concerned that this may allow rainwater into the interior of the bottle and I intended to place a shield over the top of the hole, but when I hung it up with baling twine (with the noose opposite the hole)... The bottle tilted and obviated the need to do this.


QTY   Ingredients
1 CupWhite Vinegar
1 CupSugar (Any type)
1Banana Peel


The mixture is made up and the bottle is topped up with water until all the liquid represents 75% of the volume of the bottle.

I doubt that the quantities or qualities of the ingredients will make much difference.

I expect that fermentation will take place, which may make the mixture repugnant to human noses, but no doubt waxmoths have a different perspective on this.

To use the trap... Just hang it up using a loop of baling twine, near to hives in the apiary.

I presume that the wax moths are attracted, enter and just drown.

Pheromone traps have been tried, but are only partly effective as several pheromones are utilised by the moths and other mechanisms (Ultrasound) are involved in detecting the opposite sex.

I have tried the yellow sticky fly traps that are sold for use in green houses. I should explain that I have used my green house as a 'wet weather workroom' for cleaning up hive equipment and frames and thus it attracts a few moths. There have been moths caught on these yellow traps, but I think such trapping was random rather than being a cause of definite attraction.

Written... 24 January 2002, Revised... 12 June 2002, Upgraded... 31 March 2005,
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