Once again a moth has managed to be quite annoying. I get back to the trailhead after dark, get into my car and swap out my boots for street wear--and very quickly a moth shows up trying to get to the light. Not using a light wasn't an option, not having the car door open wasn't an option.

When I get home it's not a problem--leave the door open, the moth goes for the light on the garage door opener. However, for the whole drive home I had this pesky moth flitting around the windshield trying to get to my headlights.

Trying to swat said moth would not be easy, they're not going to be shooed out the door because they want the light (and if all the lights are off I'm not going to find it to shoo anyway).

  • 2
    Can you place a portable light outside your car to draw the moth out, then turn it off, hop in, and close the door? Jan 18, 2022 at 20:07
  • 2
    turn off interior lights, turn on headlights, open doors/windows...
    – bob1
    Jan 18, 2022 at 21:07
  • @bob1 During the drive home the moth went nowhere near the door, it was always within an inch of the windshield. Jan 18, 2022 at 23:00
  • @GregHewgill I had thought of luring it out with a light and rejected that because there were none around (I was out in Death Valley, probably 40 miles from the nearest outdoors light), I didn't think of bringing my own. I'll have to try that next time and see how it goes. Jan 18, 2022 at 23:02
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    You were hiking alone in Death Valley after dark without carrying any kind of light? Brave. Jan 19, 2022 at 1:07

2 Answers 2


How to get moths out of your car?

Try using moth balls inside your vehicle. I use them to keep insects away from woollen clothes. One drawback is that your car will smell, for a time of moth balls, which can be somewhat annoying. But the alternative may be more annoying.

If you wish to employ other scents, you could possibly use cedar shavings. I have never employed them, but some people use them.

Employing a black light may also help in locating the the little pest for disposal or removal. It is an option and you may hay to be inventive on this.

Blacklight sampling can be done one of two ways. The black light can be suspended in front of a white sheet, giving flying insects a surface on which to land. You can then observe the insects on the sheet, and collect any interesting specimens by hand. A black light trap is constructed by suspending a black light over a bucket or other container, usually with a funnel inside. Insects fly to the light, fall down through the funnel into the bucket, and are then trapped inside the container. Blacklight traps sometimes contain a killing agent, but can also be used without one to collect live specimens.

When using a black light to collect insects, you should set up your light and sheet or trap just before dusk. Make sure the light faces the area from which you want to attract insects. In other words, if you want to draw insects from a wooded area, position your light between the trees and the sheet. You'll get the greatest diversity of insects if you set up a black light at the intersection of two habitats, such as at the edge of a meadow adjacent to a forest.

Use forceps or an insect aspirator (sometimes called a "pooter") to collect insects from the sheet or trap. - Using a Black Light to Collect Insects at Night

A piece of white cardboard on leaned against the window may work.

You can get black flashlight in some hardware stores light Canadian Tire, here in Canada, where I got mine.


The following method depends on how agile the moth is. I trap (and then evict) insects, including moths, at home by putting a small plastic cup over them and then sliding a piece of stiffish paper under the cup. This traps them. Then I take cup, paper and insect as a unit to an outside door, turn off the inside lights, turn on an outside light and let them go.

I see no reason why this method should not work, in principle, on a windshield.

As I said, this method works only if the insect is not super agile -- flies are almost impossible to catch this way until they are very tired. It can be frustrating for me and the insect.

  • This one was never sitting still in a position that would even have been an option. It was either flitting about or sitting on the top or bottom of the windscreen. Neither place was flat enough to be able to capture it. Jan 31, 2022 at 21:39

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