Catching Bugs with a Pooter


Build your own Pooter to Catch Bugs!

Scientists call them aspirators, but bug enthusiasts call them pooters.  Pooters help scientists (and kids) catch small insects for closer examination without touching them. These simple instructions will have the kids exploring the backyard, ditches, parks and forests in search of cool and weird bugs.


– Clean small jar with tight fitting lid
– Two plastic bendy straws
– Small elastic band
– Nylon stocking or tights
– Drill with bit 1/8 larger diameter than your straws
– Play dough or plasticine



  1.  Drill two holes in the lid of the jar.
  2. Trim 2 or 3 cm off one of your straws.
  3. Push both straws through the jar lid so that the bendy parts are on the outside and the short parts will be on the inside of the jar.
  4. Secure your straws in place and plug any gaps between the straw and the jar lid’s hole with play dough or plasticine (optional).
  5. Wrap a bit of nylon stocking or tight around the end of the short straw below the jar’s lid and secure it in place with your elastic band.
  6. Screw the lid onto the jar.
  7. Find a small insect, point the long straw at it and suck on the short straw that has the nylon attached. The nylon will keep you from sucking the insect up your straw.
  8. The insect will get sucked into your jar so you can have a closer look with a magnifying glass or your naked eye.
  9. Draw a picture of your insect or take a photo before you release it, so that you can try to identify it.