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A great way to catch live bugs is to make a simple pitfall trap.

Make a pitfall trap

  • A small cup (a yoghurt pot also works)
  • Somewhere to dig a hole
  • Something to cover the top of your cup (in case it rains!)
  • Small pebbles/sticks to balance the cover on


  • Dig a hole big enough to fit your cup.
  • Make the edge of the cup flush with the ground surface.
  • Place pebbles or sticks round the outside and balance the cover on top.
  • Leave your trap for a few hours, or overnight if you like.
  • Make sure to check it in the morning.
  • Check your trap. What bugs are in it?
  • Remember to set the bugs free afterwards.

Study your bugs

If you want to study your bugs more closely, tip them gently into a glass jar with muslin fixed over the top using a rubber band. You can take a photo of your bugs or draw a picture. Try moving your trap to a different location and see if you catch anything different! 

Woodland dor beetle.

Find out more about different types of bugs in our bug characteristic guide.

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Pitfall trap

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