Lking

Insect cages come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and are made from a wide variety of materi-als.While netting is good for airflow, it makes it hard to see the small details on insects. If you want to observe an insect for a short time, a clear, plastic container is your best bet.

Materials

A large, clear, plastic jar with a lid (large peanut butter containers work well) Drill with very small bit (or a barbecue fork)

Insects need air to breathe, just like every other animal.To make your looking jar ready for temporary insect visitors, you need to make plenty of air holes.

However, many of the plastics used today are brittle and will split if you try to punch holes in them.With the help of an adult, you can either drill very small holes in the lid and near the bottom edge of the jar or heat the tip of the barbecue fork over a flame and melt small holes in the lid and near the bottom edge of the jar.

The larger the mouth of the jar, the easier it will be to put insects in. After you have watched your insects and made notes and sketches in your journal, turn the jar on its side and open the lid. Don't shake the jar to get the insects out, just wait a few minutes and they will be gone.

Field Research Tips

Many activities in this book should be done outdoors and with live insects. Since insects have a wide range of defense strategies, including biting, pinching, stinging, spraying, and spitting, here are a few tips and tricks to help you feel the most comfortable out in the field.

• If you are going to be collecting insects in tall grass or brushy areas, wear long, light-colored pants, a long-sleeved, light-colored shirt, closed-toe shoes, and a hat.These clothes will help protect you from scratches, scrapes, poison ivy, and insect attacks.

• It is a good idea to bring a simple first-aid kit with you. Tweezers, alcohol swabs, first-aid ointment, and bandages can be a big help.

• If you get stung by a bee, pull the stinger out immediately. To help ease the pain, put ice, baking soda, meat tenderizer, or barbecue sauce directly on top of the sting.

• Ticks are tiny creatures with eight legs. They can be as small as the size of a period to as big as the end of a pencil eraser. Most ticks need blood from a warm-blooded animal in order to continue their development or lay eggs. To discourage these bloodsucking ticks from feeding on you, tuck your pant legs into your socks.When you go inside, check all over your skin and in your hair to see if any ticks managed to sneak by. To remove a tick that is crawling on your clothes or skin, place the sticky side of a piece of tape on the tick. Lift up and fold the piece of tape in half

(tick side in) to create your own piece of ticker tape. If a tick has its head stuck under your skin, have an adult use tweezers to remove it.

Do you have your journal and pencil ready? Are you dressed for adventure? Get ready to explore how insects are similar to and different from you as you attract, catch, study, mimic, and release insects in your area.

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