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Seeds and plants
Your backyard, a vacant lot, or a nearby park will do nicely.
Even though insects occur everywhere and are often very
numerous, many people are unable to "see" insects because
they are not looking for them. Insects are often reclusive and
inconspicuous, and it takes a little practice to actually see all of
the insects that are around you. When looking for insects, look
up .... look down .... look all around. When you've finished
looking in an area look again, insects are always on the move !
Look under rocks, logs and debris; look in the water; look on
the leaves, twigs and flowers of plants; look in the air. Look
at different times of the day (and night) and you will see
different insects. You can easily collect for observation or
studymost of the insects you find. As a general rule most
insects can be safely held in your hand for a closer look.
Avoid holding centipedes, large spiders, spiny caterpillars, bees
and wasps, earwigs, and any type of Mosquito. All insects can
be safely observed in a "bug bottle" - any type of clear plastic
container in which you can temporarily place your insect(s).
If you wish to have the children observe any of the previously
mentioned hazardous insects, this can be accomplished by using
an insect net or forceps to handle the insects and get them
safely into the "bug bottle". Here are some pointers on using
"bug bottles" to temporarily house insects: (1) For safety sake,
use plastic containers instead of glass. (2) Some insects will
run or fly up into your bottle if you place it over them; others
will drop into it if you place it under them. A little practice will
help you determine which method works best for the bugs you
find in your neighborhood. (3) If you find the insect feeding on
a certain type of plant, try to include some of that plant in your
bottle. (4) Keep the bottle out of direct sunlight: the heat will
kill your insects. (5) If you can, try to put the bugs back in the
proper habitat when you are done watching them.
The Teachers' Helper - Fun With Children
Backyard Safari
There are several ways to make insects come to you! All you
have to do is provide special attractions, such as certain types
of flowers, food baits, or lights. In the case of mosquitoes and
other biting flies, you become the attraction and you will have
no problem attracting these insects. (1) Flowers: many species
of butterflies, bees, flies and beetles are attracted to flowers.
You can attract these insects by planting New England aster,
bergamot, coneflowers, ox-eye daisy, milkweed, butterfly
weed, phlox, chrysanthemum, marigold, zinnia, dahlia, geranium,
goldenrods, impatiens, violets, fireweed, thistle, and/or yarrow
in a window box, old wash tub, or flower garden.

(2) Food baits: many types of food will attract
insects. Over-ripe fruit, spoiled meat and fish
or cereal grains will each attract different
types of insects. (3) Lights: many kinds of
insects are attracted to lights. Look for
insects attracted to porch lights, lighted
signs, lanterns, and street lights. (Note:
get permission for this type of collecting /
observing if you're not on your own property.)
Bug Catchers Insect Zoo. You may want to
start your own temporary insect zoo with
some of the insects you catch on your safari.
You will need large see-through containers
(gallon jars, terraria, etc.) for housing your
critters. You will also need some soil or sand,
stones, wood or branches (for the insects to
crawl on) and some vegetation (if the insect
was feeding on a certain plant you will need
to supply some of this plant for food). Most
insects will need a little drinking water, so
a shallow water dish can be made from a jar
lid. The length of time you plan to keep your
critters will determine how much effort you
must put into the design and construction
of your bug housing. If you plan to keep the
critters for a matter of a few hours, then little
needs to be done - a plain jar with a little soil
or vegetation will do nicely. If you plan to
keep the critters for a long time then you will
need to design a miniature habitat that fulfills
all of the needs of the insects (food, water,
shelter, temperature, humidity and light).
Insects that do very well in captivity include:
praying mantids, ground beetles, leaf beetles,
ladybird beetles, crickets, grasshoppers,
wood roaches, many caterpillars, stink bugs,
ants, and earwigs. Also, don't forget about
non-insect arthropods such as spiders,
sowbugs, centipedes, millipedes, and
(1) Name some of the places insects may
be found (city, country, deserts, mountains,
lowlands, swamps, fields, woods, water,
yards, parks, gardens, crop fields, houses
and buildings and animal nests).

The Mosquito War:
Prevention and Awareness
The Sound You Hear
Guns N' Roses
Rocket Queen
Appetite For
Geffen Records.

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