Catching moths and letting your kids learn more about them can be a great science experiment.

This provides a great opportunity to mix some educational and learning experience with being outdoors for your children. It can even be fun and entertaining for you as well. Sugaring for moths is how you’ll accomplish all of this together.

Moths flit around on summer evenings in search of food and friends. These insects love nothing more than a dinner of tree sap, flower nectar, or rotting fruit. Because most moths come out at night, they can be hard to observe. But you can invite a few into your yard by setting up a free dinner buffet on a tree trunk! Follow the instructions below to get a close-up look at your elegant, winged neighbors.

You Will Need:

  • Over-ripe banana
  • Bowl
  • Fork
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • Jar with lid
  • Paintbrush
  • Flashlight

(The last three supplies can be found at your local hardware store.)


  1. Put banana in bowl and mash with fork. Stir in molasses, sugar, and vinegar. Mixture should be thick, not runny. Transfer to jar.
  2. Let jar sit in the sun with lid lightly on for several hours.
  3. Two hours before dusk, paint a 10-inch square patch of mixture on a tree trunk with paintbrush.
  4. An hour after dusk, return to tree with flashlight.
  5. Shine flashlight on tree trunk at an angle to find snacking moths. (If you shine the light directly on the moths, you might scare them away!) Look closely because many of the moths will blend in with the bark.


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