Using a Sweep Net

Bug Basics | Freshwater Organisms | Venomous Bugs | Sampling Equipment

Using a sweep net is done by sweeping the net back and forth rapidly in the grass or running while pulling the net through the grass. When done, hold the net away from you to allow any bees to fly out. Then shake the insects down to the bottom of the net by beating on the sides. Grab the net about 2 inches from the bottom, turn the net inside out, and push the bottom of it into the jar to release the insects. Before adding more bugs to a jar that has specimens, tap on the lid to knock the bugs to the bottom.

Where to Find Bugs

Bugs are found practically everywhere. They are the most common type of animal. For the purposes of using the sweep net, there will be the most abundance and diversity of insects in tall grassy areas. In tall grass more food and hiding places are available and a greater range of habitats.

Examining the Catch

Distinguish between insects and spiders. Use field guides or I.D. sheets to identify an insect. Compare catches from different areas. When finished, release the catches near where they were netted.