Sunday, 20 March 2016

Moth trap bulbs

I just wondered whether anyone has any experience of using the 20W Eco bulbs supplied by Watkins and Doncaster.

On Friday night I caught 7 Common Quaker, 2 Hebrew Character and 1 Small Quaker using my usual 125W MV Robinson trap.

Last night (Saturday) I tried the 20W Eco bulb in the trap for the first time and was pleasantly surprised with a catch of 3 Common Quaker, 7 Hebrew Character and 1 Small Quaker.

The weather conditions on the two nights were similar. Based on this tiny piece of evidence the results with the Eco bulb certainly look encouraging and I will be experimenting further with the two different bulbs.

Andy Newbold.
Sibford Ferris, Oxon.


  1. There is a variety of bulbs available these days. The problem with direct comparisons is the variety of other variables, including the weather. But you can get impressions over a period of time and it would be interesting to see what comes of your experiment. The general feeling is that different moths can be attracted to different lights and that mv bulbs get the largest numbers. In addition to a 125W mv I also use a 40W actinic u-tube and, last year, a 25W "blacklight" bulb (which actually gives out a fair amount of visible light, similar to an actinic). They all catch moths - but the set-ups are different and it is difficult to be certain about the results. Plenty of moths are reluctant to come to light at all, of course.
    Andy King.

  2. An interesting experiment, Andy. As Andy K says, please let us know how you get on. You are probably aware that the EU has already outlawed the production (but not the sale) of MV bulbs. It may be ten or more years down the line before we start to notice a shortage in supply and by then somewhere like China will I suspect have stepped in to fill the gap, but it is still very useful to know how good (or bad) other types of bulb are at attracting moths.

  3. Hi Andy, up until the end of last year I'd been using a 20W Ecolite 'blacklight' bulb, I was using one for a couple of year and it did me well. The only thing I found with them was they dim very quick, using one every night all night I'd have to replace it once a month at least. Even after a week you could notice the difference and see the bulb going yellow.

  4. Thank you for these comments. I think I will try to run the 125W MV on Friday nights for the GMS and the 20W eco bulb on another night each week and see how they compare.


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