Creating a Moth Trap

by Merissa on May 10, 2012

in Thrifty Living

Post image for Creating a Moth Trap

I don't know about where you live but the moths here on the South Dakota plains are just awful this year. Last night we snuck into the house in the dark without turning any lights on and still had over 30 moths in the kitchen when we finally did flip on the lights. A swarm of moths attacks our heads every time we head out to the garage.

I have to give my hubby all the credit for this idea. While I was still wondering what to do, he thought he'd heard of something to try so he set up this moth trap.

What you need to create it is dishsoap that will foam up, water, a bowl, and a light.

Place the water into the bowl and add in the dishsoap. It would help to add in the soap while you are filling with water so the soap foams up. You only need a few inches of water.

Place the bowl under a light. In the house we put the bowl on the stove and turned the stove light on above it. Turn off all other lights in the area.

Here's our bowl the next morning. The suds are gone but the moths are there. No chemical sprays used and easy to set up but it works! And nothing extra to buy, you can easily set this up with what's already in your house!

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9:00 am

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jonica Hope May 10, 2012 at 9:09 am

Thank you! We’ve had such a hard time fighting the moths.


2 Terri Conner May 10, 2012 at 9:14 am

I thought all the moths were in Kansas! Thanks!


3 Pat Ransberger Rizzi May 10, 2012 at 9:27 am

Thank you. I have been fighting moths for a while now.


4 Pamela Burr May 10, 2012 at 9:32 am

When we lived in Stergis there were more miller moths than I have ever seen. And all of them were in my kitchen windows…ivk. I don’t mind them, or freak out over them like some people do but really that many in one spot was just a bit much


5 Pamela Burr May 10, 2012 at 9:34 am

This is a great idea


6 Sharron May 10, 2012 at 9:35 am

Thank you for sharing this! I have moths, we get them every spring and I never know how to get rid of them. I will do this tonight!


7 Tina May 10, 2012 at 8:11 pm

I have another similar trick but this one for fruit flies. Put a few drops of dishwashing detergent into a small bit of apple cider vinegar.


8 Elaine January 7, 2013 at 12:23 am

I haven’t tried it yet, but someone told me you can also put some rotting fruit (like an apple core) in a cup with a bit of vodka, cover it with Saran wrap, and punch some holes in the wrap. Apparently, the fruit flies are drawn to the fruit, get stuck inside, and before they can find their way back out, asphyxiate from the alcohol. Like I said, I haven’t tried it. Your version seems so much simpler!


9 Jana May 13, 2012 at 8:28 am

I used this growing up and it works great! Its super easy and fast too. Much easier than trying to swat them like flies (and getting that dust everywhere) or spray them with chemicals.


10 Vonnie May 17, 2012 at 10:44 am

Thanks – will also try this for those flying ants that we seem to get so many of at this time of year (particularly at Full Moon).


11 Sarah W. May 4, 2013 at 11:43 pm

I had flying ants in an apartment I lived in years ago. The nasty things were coming out of the bottoms of the walls. My mom told me to mix equal parts Borax and granulated sugar, and pour it around where they were coming in at. I did what she said to do and fixed my ant problem. The ants took the sugar back to the nest and fed it to the babies, the babies ate the poisoned sugar and died, effectively killing off any future generation of ants.


12 Tessa From May 17, 2012 at 10:45 am

I can’t thank you enough for this. This Spring we too have had such a moth problem. I have been at a loss as what to do. I cannot stand the smell of moth balls. Do you happen to know if this works with the larvae too (maybe they inch their way into the bowl)…LOL.


13 Linda May 17, 2012 at 11:13 pm

Thank goodness for Facebook, otherwise I would have thought WE were the only ones with such a severe moth infestation. Please tell your hubby thank-you for the insecticide free recipe. Ask him to come up with one for mosquitoes too. LOL
Texas native.


14 Elaine January 7, 2013 at 12:28 am

I have a strange kind of moth – one that seems to emerge from the cat litter. I did a Google search and only found a few references, so at least I know it’s not just me…but no insights on how to get rid of them. They don’t seem particularly attracted to light, though. I had some success with a store-bought moth trap (that uses pheromones and sticky paper; caught some of them, but I still see them flying around from time to time), but it would be nice to try something simpler. Anyone ever see these before? I live in Northern California; I’m from Michigan, where I’d never seen these moths.


15 Linda December 28, 2016 at 3:15 pm

LITTER MOTHS! What’s the solution? I must have gotten a bag of cat litter that wasn’t sterilized and now 9 months later the moths have taken up residence all over the house. They are tiny and come out at night. In the summer, I’ve killed 75/ night. My walls have spots all over. It’s December & less daylight hours seems to =less moths. But they’ll be gearing up soon. Pantry Pest Traps by Safer doNOT work. I’ve tried a dish of water- I’ll try it with a light. I feel like they are never going to stop. I’m in So. California never had litter moths in 12 years of buying litter until last spring.


16 Eliza May 2, 2013 at 11:46 pm

We live in a swampy area of Florida and we use this out on our deck at night. Mosquitoes, gnats, no-see-ums, they all go for it. Some say that lemon or orange scented dish soap is better, but for me whatever I have on hand works fine.


17 Jo Allsopp September 12, 2013 at 10:44 pm

Here in Queensland, Australia, we get fruit flies this time of year (spring for us) and the Apple Cider Vinegar and dishwashing detergent works but even better than ACV, is red wine, dozens and dozens dead in a few days and the problem is 99.999% gone. Of course I only used cheap cask wine which I happened to have but it was worth doing it as we were being driven mad by them in all areas of our home. Also cleaned all the cupboards, under the fridge (found an apple core) and they apparently love scraps of food to eat and then lay eggs if you don’t kill them fast enough.. Goodluck


18 Jaimee January 19, 2015 at 2:16 am

Was not effective for my pantry. Maybe our moths didn’t get your memo.


19 V February 26, 2015 at 5:29 am

Pantry moths and Miller moths are two different creatures altogether. This remedy is for Millers. For Pantry moths, unfortunately, it will require purging your pantry of all contaminated food (especially vulnerable grains like corn meal, flour, pastas, etc), washing down every surface, & placing purchased specially formulated traps for Pantry moths (consists of attracting phermones & super sticky papaer in small cardboard containers). Then you have to repeat the process a couple more times, about six weeks apart, to combat emerging new generations. To prevent future outbreaks, after you get rid of the pests, everytime you purchase flour or other grain foodstuffs place in plastic bags in the freezer for at least 3 days before placing in your pantry.


20 Corrina August 20, 2016 at 7:30 am

Didn’t work for us, either. Maybe it’s the kind of dish soap?


21 Jenny Trent April 24, 2015 at 12:41 pm

I don’t think you should kill moths altogether. There just harmless creatures attracted to the light.
Maybe they hang around you because they like you?


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