Find out what bug are at your place. You’ll need collecting jars, net, magnifying glass, our Beaut Bugs ID cards (PDF, 0.99 MB) or insect books so you can identify what you’re looking at.
Looking for bugs
Bugs are very good at hiding. Look for them:
- under stones, wood etc
- in the bush
- in the grass
- in a pond – dip your net in see what aquatic bugs you can scoop up
You could also look for different types of spiderwebs, some webs look very messy while others are very neat and orderly.
Many bugs come out at night to feed. Grab a torch as see what you can find in your own backyard - you might be surprised what you find.
The purpose of creating a pitfall trap is to see how many bugs (invertebrates) are at your place. They trap bugs as they walk along the ground.
To make a pitfall trap you’ll need:
- Small trowel
- Small plastic container
- A piece of wood or metal
- 4 stones and 1 brick or large rock
Make your trap
- Dig a hole, put the plastic container in it making sure the top is level with the ground.
- Put 4 stones around the top of the hole and place a piece of wood or metal on top. Put a brick on top to keep it in place.
- Leave the traps overnight – in the morning see if anything has fallen in.
Write down what bugs you’ve found.
Return the bugs back to their environment.
Not sure what you’ve got?
Landcare Research have a great website that can help: www.landcareresearch.co.nz/resources/identification/animals/bug-id/what-is-this-bug
Plant a bug-friendly garden
Find out what native plants you can use to create a great bug-friendly garden: www.southlandcommunitynursery.org.nz
Remember not to spray insecticides – they kill bugs good and bad.
Activities for home and school
A great activity for home or school is to build a weta ‘motel’. Weta like to feed at night and hide during the day. You could build them their own special hiding place.
It’s easy to find different designs on the internet – just remember to use untreated timber!
Other hiding places
Give your bugs plenty of places to hide – rocks and rotting logs are great.
Visit the hiding places regularly – what types of bugs use them? Remember to put the rocks/logs back where they were and return all bugs to their ‘homes’.
An added bonus to bugs
Remember that by bringing bugs back to your place, you’ll also bring back the birds and animals that like to eat them – like fantails and skinks.