Light Traps

Light traps are an easy way to monitor insects that are active at night. Insects are attracted and fly to the light source, fall through the funnel, and remain in the bucket until collection. Light traps rely on a power source to operate the light fixture and ballast boxes must be monitored throughout the season to ensure proper functioning.


Step 1. Place an 11.5-inch-diameter (29-centimeter) metal (preferably lightweight aluminum) funnel inside a 5-gallon (19-liter) bucket so the widest end of the funnel rests on the lip of the bucket.

Step 2. Place a hinged, three- or four-part clear vane mount with circular cutout that will allow the light bulb to sit suspended above the funnel.

Step 3. Place a 22-watt black-light tube inside the cutout.

Light Trap Installation, Step 3
Light Trap Installation, Step 1
Light Trap Installation, Step 2


Step 4. Plug the four prongs of the light bulb into a 120-volt AC 60Hz ballast box and connect the ballast to an electrical outlet.

Step 5. Set an aluminum lid (with handle) so that it rests on top of the plastic vane. Secure lid by connecting the lid to a lower lip of the bucket using small bungee cords.

Note. Trap catches will vary greatly as the season progresses. Be sure to have an idea of when to monitor for your target insect in order to trap most efficiently.

The following insects can be monitored with light traps:

  • Asiatic garden beetle
  • Black turfgrass ataenius
  • Black cutworm moths
  • Fall and yellow-striped armyworm moths
  • Masked chafer
  • May/June beetle
  • Sugarcane beetle