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Monday, 31 October 2016

Guava Moth Traps, Transition Town Seed Swap.

Hi All! Small positives for Plastic Bag Free when I was shopping last week. First I came across this sign in our local library

Then my local New World supermarket have started giving a 5c/bag discount (up to 5 bags) when you bring in your own bags (unless you are already getting their discounted coffees). It's not huge, but at least moving in the right direction.

In my last post I had made a Guava Moth trap - I can now report that it does definitely work - so here's the recipe.

Guava Moth Lure

Mix: 1 litre of boiling water
       1 tsp of vegemite or marmite
       100g sugar
       1 tsp vanilla essence

then add 1 tsp of ammonia (available at the supermarket).

Divide the mixture between 4 x 2litre milkbottles (or similar), with windows cut as per picture.

Tie the bottles into your fruit trees, using a short tie so they don't blow about and spill.

The lure will last about  month, but may need straining every few days.
It reportedly takes two evenings for the moths to find the traps.

This is what Guava moths look like...

and the damage they do...

We went to a Transition Towns Seed Swap in the weekend - Guava moths are ruining everyone's home fruit crops, so the lure recipe was really popular.
I kicked myself for not taking photos of the Seed Swap for you. There were about 20 people, everyone bringing along seedlings, cuttings, seeds and plants to share. It was our first one, and we came away loaded up with tarragon, basil, hydrangea, cherimoya, hellebores, tomatoes, tobacco (to kill chewing insects apparently), seeds of bean,cress and a weird courgette variety.

Yay! free plants

The host's garden, on a standard town section had 50 varieties of fruit trees and berries.
If you've never heard of Transition Towns, and international organization promoting positive grassroots community projects then here is a Wiki link .


  1. Love the no plastic bag sign. My town is way behind on the subject of plastic bags. I carry my own reusable bags everywhere I go but have had many stressful situations in doing so. At one store I got a huge lecture on how difficult I was making the cashier's day and how plastic bags are better. The biggest problem I have is catching the person bagging my purchases. The people here seem to think what I want is for them to bag my purchases in their single use plastic bags and then put those bags into my reusable one. I still can't get my head around why this is such a hard thing to get people used to.

    1. Hi Lois, some of our supermarkets are reportedly like that too. I have been thinking that I will need to change and shop there for a little while so that we can have a little conversation each time. Some people can't think further than what is immediately in front of them, sadly.

  2. Those are very encouraging "signs of the times". We have a couple of grouches at our closest local store who don't like to pack my cloth bags and when I have to go through their line I volunteer right away to do it myself. On the whole the clerks remark positively on my bags as it seems it's the first time they have seen cloth bags. I always make conversation in hopes that someone else will take the hint and do the same.
    I don't think we have guava moths but it's great that your experiment is working.

  3. What proportion of your fruit was free from Guava moth damage after you began use of the traps?

    1. Hi Owen. We only had a tiny amount of guava moth damage prior to the traps. We live in the country away from neighbours so are unlikely to get much spread that way. We have still had a little guava moth damage but it hasn't spread - really only a few fruit in one tree. I was taking success from being able to see the moths in my traps.

  4. Hi there. Great post. How many traps per tree?

    1. Thanks Llew. Just one trap per tree, but then our trees aren't very big. I think the trick is to make sure they are checked and refilled, as they can dry out/ become full of bugs.

  5. The plastic supermarket bag is the greatest thing since sliced bread. When they talked about banning them I worked out how long I expected to live and bought enough to see me out. I use one as a bin liner each week but I have used only one of the ones I bought because I have been using up those that I have saved over the years. Single use plastic items are not a problem but they were introduced without any thought being given to their disposal.

    1. Hi KM, thanks for stopping by. We're going to have to agree to disagree over the single use plastic in the world. I think it is a BIG problem. most people still get lots of plastic coming into their homes, so I wonder, why not use the bag that your toilet rolls come in, or that your bread or cereal comes in to line your bins, or newspaper even. Yes, I get that those bags are smaller - but I think it's worth making an effort to reduce the amount of plastic that is left in the world for our descendants to live with.


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