FAQs about guava,  codling moth and our solar moth traps 

Commonly asked questions by Eco Trap NZ’s customers 

Got more questions about guava moths and how to protect your fruit crops? Phone our friendly team on 021 2468100.

guava moth nz
How do I know if guava and codling moths are attacking my fruit?

Early caterpillar damage is hard to find. It is only easily spotted once the fully grown caterpillar chews its way out. Early fruit hitting the ground can be a first sign of the problem.

How many traps do I need to get rid of guava and codling moths at my place?

For a normal quarter acre, just over 1,000m2, one unit will be more than enough. The moth trap should be placed close to the infested area, bearing in mind that sunlight is required to recharge the batteries. Moving the trap to a new location each night is recommended.

I have a large apple orchard, so how many moth traps will I need?

We recommend hanging the traps in the centre of the tree rows at rate of about four per acre, or just over 4,000m2. 

Is this moth trap made in Aotearoa New Zealand?

Yes, it is. Calling on his many years’ experience in the electronic and medical instrument field, Bob Mitchell created what were originally known as ‘Little Bugga’ moth traps in Kerikeri, Northland, in 2015. Many prototypes were built, and field tested. To keep the manufacture of this product in New Zealand, TrapzNZ has a fully injection moulded product and has committed to full production tooling so that the product is made here in Northland.

Do our solar moth traps catch female guava moths?

Yes, they do. Unlike pheromone traps, they will catch female moths, which is crucial. Each female moth can produce about 200 eggs, so to really have an impact on the guava moth population at your property, you need to kill the females before they lay any eggs.

What types of moths does the trap catch?

The trap is non-specific and will catch most small moths. Using a pheromone will help to target a specific species.

Does the trap catch large moths?

Since we have been field trialling and manufacturing these traps, to the best of our knowledge, we have only ever caught small moths.

Will the trap catch white fly?

No, it won’t.

How long will the light stay on?

On a bright day, the batteries will be sufficiently charged for the lights to stay on for about eight hours. However, our solar moth traps are built with a certain amount of over design, which means the solar cell is large enough to charge the batteries even on a dull day.

How many times can the batteries be charged / discharged?

Normally, up to about 1,000 times. 

Can I replace the batteries?

Yes, you can use any 1.2-volt rechargeable type. Do note though, you MUST NOT use non-rechargeable batteries as they will permanently damage the charging control circuit.

Do the batteries come fully charged?

They come up to 80% charged, depending on how long they have been in storage.

What type of oil can I use in the aluminium catch tray?

We recommend using cooking oils as they are always eco-friendly, although any eco-friendly sticky substance will work just as well.

Can I use water in the tray?

Yes, but water dries out quickly. If the tray is not cleaned out regularly, and allowed to dry out with insect debris, moths will not be caught and will just fly around leaving a trail of moth pollen all over the trap and light module, which is particularly difficult to clean off.

How do I get new trays?

It is important to have a clean tray in your trap, so regular monitoring of your trap is important. The catching trays are a standard type available from packaging suppliers, but as they may be hard to purchase in some areas, we can supply them in packs of 10.

Do post brackets come with the traps?

For commercial users and the more serious moth catchers, we have developed a simple bracket that replaces the hanging cord and fits onto a standard pigtail electric fence stake. This gives the option of placing the trap anywhere quickly and securely. The moth trap stand and bracket is not included with the trap; it comes as a separate accessory product.

What is the ON /OFF switch for?

The switch is designed to protect the batteries when the trap is being stored or not in use. If the trap is stored with the switch in the ON position, the batteries will be discharged and left with a load across them. Over time this will destroy the batteries.

Why does the light go ON and OFF when I turn the switch ON in the dark?

The switch has a magnet in it that activates a sensor. When you turn the switch, the magnetic field will move and operate the sensor several times before it is in the fully ON position.

Can I leave my trap out all year round?

It is recommended that the trap is used all year to help disrupt the breeding pattern of the moths. However, a common-sense approach is expected of the user, because while the trap is made from a tough plastic, it is not designed to stand up to the rigours of gales and storms. Our catch rates show that early spring is when the moth population is at its peak, so it is a very good idea to have traps set up by the end of winter.

Why can’t I spray for guava moths?

One of the reasons it is so hard to get rid of guava moths (Coscinoptycha improbana) is that the guava moth has a continuous life cycle. Because the caterpillar is on the surface of the fruit for such a short period, it is almost impossible to control with insecticides. In addition, no insecticides are registered for use against guava moth in New Zealand. Another reason why spraying for moths is not the answer is because, as Bob Mitchell the inventor of our solar powered moth traps advocates, we would all do better if we lived our lives in a more environmentally friendly way where toxic sprays are not the go-to.

Do guava moths only eat guavas?

No, they eat loads of different fruits and nuts. Larvae are found in plums, feijoas, peaches, citrus, guavas, loquats and nashi pears, even in the hardy macadamia nut. Oddly enough, not all fruit seems to be attacked by guava moth all of the time, every year; some years it will be plums, another perhaps feijoas or citrus.

How far will a guava moth fly?

A relatively new invader with no natural predators, it is not really known how far they can range in New Zealand.

How long does a guava moth live for?

The guava moth lifecycle takes about 8 weeks. Eggs are laid on developing fruit; tiny larvae tunnel into the fruit, eat the flesh and the full-grown caterpillars then bungy-jump down to the soil to pupate. New moths emerge from these pupae, find each other through pheromones, mate, and then new eggs are laid.

Apart from using solar moth traps, what else can I do to help get rid of guava and codling moths?

Removing rotting, infested fruit from around the base of trees lowers numbers of guava moths. Picking up the fallen fruit disrupts their life cycle because any larvae still in the fruit can no longer pupate right under the tree. But don’t compost them. You can however, feed them to stock or chooks.

If you need further help to get rid of guava moths at your place, feel free to give the Trapz NZ team a call or send us an email. We’ll get back in touch ASAP.