Make a Pitfall Trap

Check out our step-by-step guide or watch the short video below as nature enthusiast and Operation WildNation ambassador Sarah Sarsfield shows you how to find out what insects are living on the ground using a Pitfall Trap!

Expect to find beetles, woodlice, spiders and more!

What You’ll Need:

Old jam jar/reusable plastic cup

Small trowel

Step 1

Pick a spot in your garden to survey

Step 2

Dig a small hole (make sure to get permission first!) and then place the cup inside, so that the rim of the cup is at ground level

Step 3

Cover the top of your pitfall trap with some fallen leaves to camoufage it to any wildlife we’re trying to trap

Step 4

If you think it might rain you can place a small twig inside for insects to rest on if there’s water in the cup. Make sure the twig isn’t so long that the animals can just walk out though!

Step 5

Leave your pitfall trap overnight. In the morning check your trap to see what you’ve caught. What did you find? Was it what you expected?

Step 6

Once you have surveyed your trap make sure to release the animals back in a safe place, near to where you found them

Step 7

You can repeat this experiment again to see if anything new appears. Next time, why not try conducting this experiment in different parts of your garden to see if there is a difference! For example, you could compare a shady place to a sunny place or compare a sheltered place to somewhere out in the open