Insect Collecting – Creating a Black Light Trap

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 35,869
    This video will show how to collect insects by creating a black light trap.

    Gary Hevel: Hi! I am Gary Hevel. We are talking about collecting insects and developing a bug collection today. We are looking at the Black Light Trap; it is called an ultraviolet light trap and/or a sheet. At the early part of the evening before the sun sets we sometimes rig something up like this, there are various ways of doing this. We are just an old swing set right here. This particular day, you can put a rope between two trees or whatever status -- however you can bring it up or whatever you have available. Sometimes in places where there are no trees or structures, you can put up sticks and do it that way. Whatever works, works.

    So it is basically getting a rope like this, putting the sheet over the rope, old white sheet. And I always carry clothes pins around for this very thing. Pulling the sheet out this way, so that insects that might accumulate would have a place to stay and rigging up in some kind of black light. This is a black, black light like bulb and as a matter of getting electrical source and putting the bulb by wire or something over the front of the sheet this way and dangling it down, it can sit on the ground this way.

    Once its turned on at night, a lot of insects that are night flying will come into this black light setup and the collector comes by ever so often and sees what has flown in and landed on and is that remaining on the sheet. So it is a selective collecting method and its very valuable for insect collecting at night. Mostly moths at a later point, moths will fly after 10 Oclock or so. Before that there is beetles and flies and small wasp and such.

    So over the length of the night a lot of insects will be there. The entomologist also has the opportunity to put the black light trap. This is part of a trap here, this is the base and the other parts of the trap are here. This fits on the top of the lid and it can be used overnight. The entomologist can get some sleep and use this black light trap system. Usually cyanide powder is placed in the trap, so thats not in use by amateurs commonly because the cyanide is unavailable. But its something as if you have a friend who is an entomologist, you can join them and utilize this kind of apparatus otherwise the black light sheet works very well.