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September 01, 2010


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Nicole @ Here's The Diehl

I had to do a HUGE bug collection my sophomore year of high school...and hated every minute of it. 50 different bugs, all labeled with their scientific name. Ugh.

However, we stuck the bugs in bags and put them in the freezer. None of them woke up when we thawed them days/weeks later to put the collection together :)

Good luck!


My suggestion - change schools.


@ jean - hahaha!

I've used Nicole's freezer method. Very effective.


Don't you just love the name, the "Killing Jar" really? Can't we come up with a more euphemastic name, like the "Bud is taking a long vacation" jar? And 30 dead bugs? My garage is starting to smell from decomposing bug parts.

What about when you catch an unsuspecting moth and she is a mother who just wants to lay her eggs and lays them inside the snack sleeping bag?

The (Almost) Amazing Mammarino

You can find more bugs by looking under rocks and logs. Or you could call your local health department to see which restaurants have the lowest scores! If you get desperate, you could buy crickets and mealworms from a pet shop! (I need to go to bed; getting punchy!)


Oh dear! My idea of a nightmare. Being to so called reserved British mother, I would probably contact the school and ask for the reasons that necessitate the bugs having to be at home. I'd suggest that they keep 30 bugs each, per child, in the classroom and see how long that lasts.....


Jennifer R.

I suggest you pull her out and homeschool... at least until the bug project is over. (Ha ha!)


I'm with Jennifer...homeschool. My oldest is a Senior and I've never assigned killing bugs. ;)

I do think if I had to choose, I'd go the freezer route...but they'd have to be in black bags!!


If it is taking that long for the bugs to die, then either the "juice" isn't the right type or to much air is getting in the jar.

Are you using the mini baby food jars?

Little air as possible...or you could try freezing them too.

I figure the more bug collections the less bugs to crawl on me!


ewwhhh! Is it a requirement that she catch the bugs? If not, i would be crawling (sorry for the pun) the internet, looking for ways to purchase bugs~!


I had to do this in sixth grade and used a combination of the jar and the freezer method. It depended on what it was, I suppose, although I don't remember. I'd definitely put the cricket in the freezer now.

Is your killing juice rubbing alcohol? My bugs always died right away.

If you're struggling for additional bugs, take an old badminton or other raquet and duct tape (easiest way) a pillowcase around the top of it. Oh, after you take of the webbing. Then turn on your lights at night and wait for the moths to come and go catch some. You can use it for butterflies during the day. It's probably still warm enough there for plenty and maybe you have some down by your farm. I'm sure you have flies. Ugh!

Beachy Mimi

Tee Hee. I remember YOUR bug collection when you were in the 10th grade. I think that freezer method sounds great. But be careful when you pin them. They could lose parts. Have Fun!!! Mom


We're in the same science class...same project. Kindof sad watching them die, isn't it?? We're keeping them in the garage refrigerator...
My husband got stung by hornets 12 times last night helping catch bugs down at the neighborhood pond...he's wanting to watch one of them die :O

Dawn W

My son did this same project for 9th grade biology. (Ok, so I ended up doing a lot of this project.) Guess what grade my daughter is in this year? Guess what science class she's taking? Guess who will be looking up all the correct scientific names again? Guess who gets stuck pinning the bugs to the board because no one else in this house is able to touch bugs.

My advice? Find a boy that loves bugs and pay him. What ever he charges will be worth it! LOL


Baseball field lights or the light outside the fire station is the best place to collect bugs. (Any large outdoor light. In college, 150 bugs and 15 spiders - all different, named and pinned correctly. On the upside, I am no longer afraid of bugs:)


We're doing one too, but in the 4th grade, so we only have to find 10 of them. Somehow, it's no less gross.


My son got the project sheet on the very first day of school for a bug collection. Since I've talked with other parents, I knew this was coming! This summer we've been filling our freezer with baggies of bugs. Turns out he only needs 10.

So, skip the killing jar, toss the guys in a baggie in the freezer and call it a day. The teacher says you have about an hour to pin them once you take them out of the freezer. Longer than that and they start to break apart.


I find this completely disgusting in so many ways. Seriously. I would be calling the school to find out what this sick-o assignment is supposed to be teaching the kids.


"Killing juice" makes you sound like you're gassing them with zyclon b or something en masse. 72 hours is a long time to die; check your kj dose or scour the internet for a more effective cocktail.

The term "kill jar" is disturbing...

Sara Bowyer

I had to do a bug collection in school way back when. I put my victims/specimens in the freezer to kill them.....faster and seemed a bit nicer to me! ha!

Bethany Ellis

Why thank you. I'm now sufficently creeped out and extremely thankful that my teacher (aka, my mom) never assigned me to do any bug collections.

simply heidi

We will be studying bugs this year. The homeschool mama side of me says, "interesting project. I wonder if we could do 10 or so..."
The rational mama side says "My little darling threw a crying fit at me for killing the spider in sink today."
I thought the garbage disposal was quick and humane. More so than it deserved anyway.
She would freak out over the killing jar.

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