Paula M. Davis, Ph. D.
Bay County 4-H Agent
Bay County Extension Office
2728 East 14th Street
Panama City, FL 32401
Summer is a neat opportunity to learn about those creatures that cause many of us to go YUCK and jump back – bugs. Most insects are beneficial. Less than one percent of all insects are harmful.
Go outdoors to see nature up close and personal. Youth love to explore and together you can explore the bugs in your corner of the world by collecting them. It is simple to catch bugs with this homemade bug catcher you can make with your children. All you need is a paint strainer, duct tape, a wire coat hanger, and handle (wooden rod, broom handle, etc). Start with the coat hanger and straighten the hanger part. Stretch out the main part of the hanger to make a circle. Attach the paint strainer to the coat hanger using duct tape or thread. Attach the straightened part of the hanger to the handle with duct tape. Your bug catcher is complete.
Now all you need to do is go outside in your yard or local park and let them catch bugs. Be careful once they have caught the bugs. Make sure they are ‘friendly’ before anyone touches the bug. For more information and bug ID go to http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/bug_club/ent-events/outreach.shtml. Also use care when handling the bug so it can be released back to nature.
If you would like more hands on activities like these check out The ABC’s of Entomology . This material seeks to provide youth with a basic knowledge and understanding of insects and their natural history, to increase awareness and appreciation of insects and the complex roles they have in nature, to stimulate critical and creative thinking, to provide experiences for youth to learn and apply scientific principles, and to provide opportunities for youth to develop valuable life skills. Available in CD format with print ready files. http://ifasbooks.ifas.ufl.edu/p-322-abcs-of-entomology.aspx