How to Make a Light Trap
The multicolored Asian lady beetle, Harmonia axyridis, was
introduced into the US to serve as a biological control agent for
arboreal insect pests and has now become well established in many parts
of the US, including Ohio. Although H. axyridis has proven to
be highly effective at controlling aphids and other soft-bodied insect
pests in many agricultural systems it has also become recognized as a
serious nuisance pest due to its habit of aggregating in very large
numbers on and in houses and building while searching for viable
In order to help homeowners control
the beetle problems, once the beetle has entered the house, the IPM
program has designed a simple light trap made of materials that can be
found around the house and at the local hardware store. This trap has
proven to be 70% effective at catching MALB.
Materials and Tools:
- 2- One gallon jugs (Milk jugs)
- 8- Twist ties
- 1- Clamp light
- 1- 60 watt light bulb
- 2- Transparences (from office supply store, normally used for overhead projector)
- Black spray paint
- Scotch tape
- Talc powder
- Hole punch
Step # 1- Clamp Light
the clamp light and place the edge of the light shade flat on a block
of wood, use a hammer and nail to puncture 4 holes evenly spaced around
the perimeter of the light shade. (these holes will be use to connect
the clamp light to the transparences later)
Step #2 – Making Vanes (Transparences)
- Cut the 2 transparences starting in the middle of the top or bottom and cut a straight line into the center of the sheets.
one of the sheets 360° so that the cut (slice) is at the opposite end
from the other transparence. Slide the two sheets together making an “X”
Take scotch tape and tape the center seams together to prevent the
sheet from sliding apart, and to help keep the vanes separated and
a small piece of tape and put on each corner on both sides of the
transparences. (this prevents the holes from ripping out.)
the hole punch and punch a hole in each corner of the transparences and
tape. (the holes will be used to connect the clamp light to the top and
the funnel to the bottom of the transparences.)
Step # 3 – Making the funnel and collection container (gallon jugs)
one of the gallon jugs and cut the bottom third off, then using the
hole punch, punch 4 holes around the cut edge evenly spaced apart.
a knife and cut out the center of each of the lids and tape them
together back to back so that you can still screw the lids onto the
gallon jugs. (Hint; it’s easier to cut the lids before you tape them
together, we also put hot glue between the lids for added strength.)
you will need to paint all the parts to the funnel and the collection
container with black spray paint.( both gallon jugs and lids)
Step # 4 – Assembling Light Trap
the clamp light to the transparences by putting a twist tie thru the
hole in the clamp light shade and then thru the hole in the
transparence. Repeat this for all four holes.
Using the other four twist ties, connect the gallon jug that is now
your funnel to the bottom of the tranparence.
- Take the lids that are taped together and painted and screw onto the funnel that is now connected to the transparences.
- Using the second jug as your collection container screw it onto the opposite end of the funnel so that it hangs down.
Using the Light Trap
order for the trap to be effective the trap should be placed in the
room where you want to collect beetles. ( this trap will not
effectively attract beetles from other rooms.)
- Make sure that you turn off all other lights in the room and (if
possible) close doors and window shades so that no other light is in
the room. Use a 60 watt light bulb in the light trap.
sprinkle talc powder on the vanes of the light trap and inside the
funnel. This prevents the beetles from being able to “grab” onto the
vanes and flying away.