Finding Insects Using Food

by Johan J Ingles-Le Nobel
Last updated August 31, 2017


If you're trying to attract insects to photograph them, food is usually quite a useful thing to try.

But it's not just food that you can use, as there are chemicals and other concoctions that'll bring the insect to you rather than you chasing after the insect. Most of these insect baits work especially well in a pitfall trap and a butterfly trap.


How To


Sugar Water

Mix 10 tablespoons of sugar into 1litre of warm water and use a spray to spray plant leaves. Throw away and redo after a few days because it goes bad. Flies


Equal parts sugar and yeast, with as little added water as possible to make it into quite a thick paste. Apply on bark or dilute further and spray. Beetles, ladybirds

Sugaring Mix

Mix a thick syrupy mixture of brown sugar, dark ale, yeast, a teaspoon of rum and a very ripe fermenting banana. Paint 3 rings onto bark or long vertical strips onto fence posts. Moths, ants


Heating up a cheap bottle of red wine in a pan and dissolve as much sugar as you can in the wine. Absorb into 1m long strips of material and hang in trees. Moths


Mash up a couple of bananas and let them ferment for a couple of days. Put onto plate outside. Butterflies


Raw rotting fish, the stinkier the better. But once it's ripe, it really honks so I have this as bait in the middle of a nearby wood, far away from the house. Flies, Burying beetles


Spray cheap perfume on a cloth or plants Horse flies, butterflies, bees, wasps, mosquitoes.

Peanut Butter

Spread on 20cm stick and poke into ground. Ants


Overripe rotting apples. Just put them on a plate. Wasps


Buy from specialist service. Used widely in agriculture to attract destructive moths into mothkill traps in US. Moths


Eww. Ask your favourite dog owner. Flies, beetles

Amyl Acetate

Amyl is a chemical family that smells like sweet fruit, and is used in the perfume, fragrance and food flavouring industries. Amyl acetate was used by early moth trappers but there are now other Amyl members that also look promising. Moths, bees

Juicy Fruit

Mushy slices of oranges or watermelon. Butterflies