How to make a bug catcher from a soda bottle

Written by andrea lott haney
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A bug catcher made from soda bottles effectively catches bugs for later study or to rid your garden or lawn of the pests. As a bonus, making a bug catcher out of a used soda bottle repurposes an item that would otherwise be discarded. Vary the bait you hang in the bug catcher depending on the bugs you want to catch. Flies enjoy raw meat and wasps and bees like sugary soda.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • 2-liter soda bottle
  • Utility knife
  • Heavy-duty scissors
  • Stapler
  • Hole punch
  • String

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  1. 1

    Make a small horizontal cut in the soda bottle using a utility knife near the top where the curved bottle neck meets the cylindrical bottle body.

  2. 2

    Cut all the way around the bottle's shoulder using the heavy-duty scissors until the top and bottom of the bottle are two separate pieces.

  3. 3

    Turn the top of the bottle upside down and insert it into the bottom of the bottle, keeping the cut edges even with each other. Staple in place using two staples on opposite sides of the circle from each other.

  4. 4

    Punch a hole on each of two sides of the bug catcher, opposite from each other. Punch the holes all the way through both layers of the plastic bottle.

  5. 5

    Insert a piece of string into each of the two holes and knot securely. Insert the bug-catching bait into the bug catcher. Use a small piece of raw meat to catch flies or bugs you intend to keep alive. Use a sugary soda to trap bees and wasps to discard. Tie the two pieces of string together at the top to hang around a post or tree limb.

  6. 6

    Collect your trap after catching the bugs. Trap flies and bugs you want to keep alive by placing a cotton ball in the bottle neck and place the bug catcher full of bugs in the refrigerator for one hour to sedate the flies. Collect bee or wasp traps at night when any insects left alive will be inactive.

Tips and warnings

  • If you are using a bait such as honey or soda that fills the bottom of the bug catcher and you want to keep the bugs alive, put a small piece of screen or some other barrier over the bait so that the bugs won't drown.
  • Try using smaller 1-liter soda bottles or 473ml water bottles to make smaller bug catchers.
  • Hang bug catchers on high limbs or posts to deter curious children or pets.

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