Pooter Plans

Beetles from the Oxford University Museum of Natural History

Beetles from the Oxford University Museum of Natural History

© Jack Shoulder

    • A pooter is a device scientists use to pick up small objects, like insects, without hurting them. Imagine a miniature vacuum cleaner with your lungs working as the engine.
      A oicture showing a jar with two plastic tubes coming out of the lid.© Natural History Museum

      You will need:

      • A small glass jar
      • 75cm of thin plastic tubing
      • a scrap of muslin or j-cloth
      • an elastic band
      • a piece of card
      • scissors
      • sticky tape
      • a blob of plasticine or blu-tack

      Cut the tube into two bits, one 50cm long, the other 25cm long. Cover one end of the short tube with the scrap of muslin and secure it with the elastic band. (This will stop you sucking up the bug.)

      Cut the card to the shape of the top of the jar and then cut two holes in it to push the tubes through.

      Tape the card firmly to the top of the jar and push the ends of the tubes into it. Fix the tubes in place with the plasticine or blu-tak, making sure any gaps are sealed.

      Hey presto! A brilliant bug-catcher.

      Collecting specimens:
      Place the end of the long tube over the bug you'd like to have a look at. Suck gently on the end of the short tube.

      Your sucking creates a vacuum in the tube, which will pull the bug into your jar.

      VERY important note:
      Always be nice to your specimens and gently let them go, back where you found them, once you have finished studying them.

      If you enjoy catching creepy crawlies then why not try making this pit-fall trap from the Natural History Museum and see what else you can catch?

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