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Father and child with a bug catcher

Bug Catcher (Pooter)

Making a bug catcher or a pooter is as much fun as catching bugs themselves! But don’t worry, you won’t be swallowing (or touching) any one of them! This easy and low-cost nature activity uses materials from the recycling bin.

  1. First, grab a small, plastic pot with a lid – a yoghurt pot, or similar or a glass jar with a metal screw top lid is perfect. 
  2. Ask an adult to make holes in the side of the pot or lid and poke two bendy straws through the holes. 
  3. Add some plasticine or adhesive tack to keep the straws in place and create a seal within the jar or tub. 
  4. Then ask the adult to cut one straw a bit shorter – this will be your ‘sucking straw’. 
  5. Now tape a bit of stretched gauze (old, clean tights will do), over the end that sits inside the catcher. 
  6. When done, find a bug small enough to travel through the longer straw, and suck on it to vacuum the bug into your catcher. Don’t worry, you won’t suck up any bugs – the gauze at the end of the straw will stop them. 

Enjoy studying your bugs and don’t forget to release them back into nature when you’re finished your experiment. Thanks to The Wildlife Network for this activity.

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