Pitfall trap.

Cainschams

New Member
I recently asked about a good way to trap ground dwelling spiders and other bugs. Someone informed me about these traps. Here is how I made my first of quite a few.

1. Snag whatever size smooth plastic container you like. I chose a deeper one so things that can jump have a harder time getting out.

2. Place the container on the ground and cut around it with a shovel.
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3. Dig up the patch of sod you cut around and place to the side. Dig your hole a few inches deeper than the container. Fill the hole with a couple inches of good drainage material. I just used rocks and sand. Make sure not to fill it up too far. You will want the top of the container right a dirt level or just a smidge lower.
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4. Poke some holes with a nail, drill bit or whatever into the container. I poked them just on one side and sat the container in the hole so it slopes very slightly to that side. Place the container in the hole and fill it with the loose dirt. Once you get about an inch from the top cut your sod to fit the outline of the container. The place I chose had very sparse grass so I will be planting grass seed there. You can see the poked holes in the pic.
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5. Get some rocks, brick or whatever you like that is an inch or two high. Place them on the corners of the container. Get a piece of wood etc. I used corrugated PVC board for making signs. Cut the board to the desired size, place on the "risers" and place something heavy on each corner. This will help shield it from the weather and also provide a shady area for bugs when it is hot. Drop a little bit of fruit or veggies in the container to hopefully attract more bugs.
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The first spot I chose to put one is right by my foundation which is shaded pretty much constantly. I find lots of bugs crawling on the foundation and also on the ground right beside it. They like the coolness of it. Im going to be putting a few in the flower type garden and fruit and veggie garden once the weather starts warming up a bit. Still see some bugs here and there. Im setting up a light trap for night time flying insects so the only thing I should really have to work to catch are hopper type species. No paying for bugs in the warmer seasons!!!!
 

chameleonoobie

New Member
My only suggestion would be stack two together so you can just lift out the one with the bugs to unload it and set it right back into the other that stays in the dug out spot! Please post some of your catches.:)
 

javsto

New Member
not sure where u live but watch out for snakes, rats, moles, varments, centerpedes, midgets, elf's and pixies.
 

Jimturner

Established Member
Maybe you could ship me some WC elves... new blood for my breeding project. I 'll check into the paperwork. Cheers!
 

Cainschams

New Member
LOL!!! You guys are too funny!!

I think once the dirt settles and compacts I will be able just to lift the container out of the hole and slide it back in. Im not too worried about handling the bugs though. Only venomous snakes around here are copper heads and timber rattlers. Dont think I have to worry about the rattlers!!

Yes, I have a job. Things should be picking back up since the weather is getting nicer;)
 
Nice set-up:) you might want to put clear tape around the top with some olive oil to trap the climbers.
 
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Cainschams

New Member
Nice set-up:) you might want to put clear tape around the top with some olive oil the trap the climbers.

I was thinking about that. I know the wolf spiders cant climb the container. Im not so sure about what else might end up in there though. Hopefully a ton of stuff!! Ive already been seeing a bunch of baby wolf spiders running around. Im thinking these traps will do well especially when the weather gets warmer. Im betting the trap beside the melons and pumpkins will get the most bugs but planting those are still a little ways away.

Those mantis hatch yet? Wouldnt mind getting out of town this weekend;)
 
I was thinking about that. I know the wolf spiders cant climb the container. Im not so sure about what else might end up in there though. Hopefully a ton of stuff!! Ive already been seeing a bunch of baby wolf spiders running around. Im thinking these traps will do well especially when the weather gets warmer. Im betting the trap beside the melons and pumpkins will get the most bugs but planting those are still a little ways away.

Those mantis hatch yet? Wouldnt mind getting out of town this weekend;)

Yeah they are 5 days old now, Plus some giant katydids hatched too;)
 

Stanly

New Member
nice, might have to give this a try. you wouldn't happen to know how to make a fly trap? I was just thinking about that today as I watched flies eating on my discarded orange/peeling at work

*edit* seems the fly trap is easy first link on google http://insected.arizona.edu/flyrear.htm
I haven't tried it yet but seems like it should work
 
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Cainschams

New Member
nice, might have to give this a try. you wouldn't happen to know how to make a fly trap? I was just thinking about that today as I watched flies eating on my discarded orange/peeling at work

*edit* seems the fly trap is easy first link on google http://insected.arizona.edu/flyrear.htm
I haven't tried it yet but seems like it should work

My animals get exclusively flies and crickets during the colder months. None of the species I keep see worm type feeders as food. They get blue bottle flies and crickets in the winter and WC items in the warmer months. There is no need to try and breed or catch flies. They are very cheap through mantisplace.com. I buy two insects, crix and flies, the rest are caught.
 

Stanly

New Member
arent you guys worry about parasite on them bugs?

from what I've gathered it's a matter of risk vs reward, and it seems most experienced keepers feel the reward out weighs the risk. Also keep in mind there is a possibility of parasites in the bugs we buy.

The big thing is making sure they are pesticide free, also some have suggested hold them over night to gut load, and purge out anything bad they may have eaten.
 

jdog1027

Established Member
Cool Jared. I've not made one of these in quite some time. Every year me and a group of longtime friends go on an extended weekend 'Herp-hunting' trip somewhere here in the southeast every May. This year we will be going to Appalachicola Florida. Several years ago, we went to the Joseph W. Jones Ecological research station on Ichauway reserve in south eastern Georgia. They had a vast series of pitflls made from a fencing material and submerged 5-gallon buckets. We occompanied 2 good friends who were doing work there to check the traps. Man you catch any and everything in those!!! We found some Eastern Hognose snakes, couple of species of salamanders, and even a baby armadillo, just to name a few. Last year we went to Okefenokee swamp. HERPER'S DREAM COME TRUE!!!!!! Here are a few pics. I'll try to find some pics of the pitfalls from Ichauway tonight when I get home.

Here we are 'neck-deep' in the swamp literally surrounded by alligators ranging from about 12-14" to 12-14'!!!!!
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A Little Grass Frog- Full grown
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'Bout a 12 footer,...
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Cainschams

New Member
arent you guys worry about parasite on them bugs?

Nope. The benefits outweigh the risk by far. I will keep the bugs I catch for 3 days. If they do not die then chances are they werent in contact with any pesticide.

Nice, Justin!!! Looks like you guys have all the fun!!!
 
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