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Photo#66256
How I make my pitfall traps

How I make my pitfall traps
Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, USA
I use low-cost parts for my traps: An empty medium-size Gatorade bottle, two MacDonalds large-size softdrink cups, a small-size chili powder container, a large plastic bowl (3 to a pack), and some sticky foam mounting tape.

The only tools I use that aren't shown are an electric drill with a quarter-inch drill bit and a shovel.

Since I prefer live insects to photograph, I designed a trap that is difficult for them to climb or fly out of. (Those who prefer dead specimens would dispense with the Gatorade component and just put some antifreeze or salty or soapy water in the bottom of the inner cup.) This trap is also easy to examine for trapped specimens, easy to empty and replace, and easy to renew the suspended bait. As a final bonus, it keeps rain, fallen leaves and twigs, and most larger animals out of the trap.

The end result is a trap that is difficult for good fliers and climbers to escape from. (There remains the danger of some disappearing into the digestive systems of other trapped critters, so check your traps frequently :-)

I've just fabricated a dozen of these well-tested traps to take with me to the Organ Mountains of southern New Mexico.

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