Sometimes identifying those tricky little bugs is DIFFICULT! Especially if they are tiny and you can't pick them up without squashing them in your GIGANTIC human fingers. To get round this problem, Creepycrawlyologists use a piece of equipment called a "Pooter" that allows you to harmlessly suck the bug into a jar for careful observation (and without swallowing it). Luckily for you (and us) it's pretty easy to make, especially with our How To Make A Bug Catcher guide!
So, let's retreat back to our jungle basecamp, gather our crafting tools, and get ready for some SERIOUS science!
You will need:
- Two leftover bendy straws – if you haven't got any leftover bendy straws don't buy them especially. That's bad for the environment! We didn't have any bendy ones so we used straight ones and a bit of special Beano creativity (see later). You could even use paper ones if you have some leftover!
- A glass jar. We polished off some of grandma's jam and used the jar it came in
- Some tape
- A tiny piece of fabric
- A capable grown-up. These are quite rare. If you have one, keep it handy through the make.
This is the dangerous bit. Ask the grown up to make two holes in the lid of the jam jar. Make sure they do it safely and also check that the holes are big enough to fit the straws through. When we did this some of the jam jar lid was left a bit jaggedy. Watch out for that and ask your grown-up to make any sharp bits safe!
Here's where you mod your straws. Tape the fabric over the end of one of the straws. This bit is super fiddly so don't get frustrated. It's all part of the build. We need the fabric to stop us swallowing tiny bugs!
If you haven't got a bendy straw you might need to modify a straight one like we did. It was a right faff, but we got there in the end by cutting a diagonal through the middle of the straw and sellotaping it at right angles.
Stick the straws through the hole in the jam jar lid. The scrap of fabric should be below the lid! Stick them in place with tape. Make sure there are no air gaps between the holes and the lid.
Screw the lid into place. This bit is satisfyingly easy. Well done! You've made a Pooter!
It's time to collect your specimen. Suck through the straw with the fabric and point the other straw at a tiny bug. You will harmlessly vacuum up the bug into the jam jar. Use your epic bug scientist skills to identify the species.
This bug is actually a tiny woodlouse. Technically a crustacean NOT a bug!
Remember, be kind to your bug, so release it back into the wild! Remember to say thank you and you can both go about your day, happy in the knowledge you've helped each other learn about pooters and what it's like to be a temporary resident of a clean, glass jar.