Magnificent moths

Guest blogger: Richard Fox, Butterfly Conservation

Moths have a bad image. Many people regard them as boring, brown, jumper-munching pests. The truth is very different; moths are magnificent. They are just as colourful as butterflies and play an important role in nature.

Elephant hawk-moth by Robert Thompson

Moths pollinate plants and are a vital food source for many other creatures, including bats and birds. Almost all of our garden birds feed on moth caterpillars and other insects. Blue tit chicks alone eat 35 billion moth caterpillars in Britain each year.

Moths represent a hidden wealth of wildlife on our doorstep. Over 2,500 different types occur in Britain, many of which are found in gardens.  And 'getting into' moths has never been easier. With a little effort and expenditure, a whole new world of wildlife will be revealed.

Scarlet tiger moth by Chris Manley

Most people start by getting a moth trap, a light to attract moths mounted on a box to retain them unharmed. Just put it in the garden overnight and enjoy the excitement in the morning when you see what you've caught. 

Moth traps are great, but you don't need one to enjoy moths. Many are active in the daytime, while nocturnal moths may also be attracted to lighted windows or outside lights.

Visit Moths Count for more about moths and to join the moth count survey 



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