They’re creepy. They’re crawly. Sometimes they fly around and sometimes they really bug you. Bugs and insects can be fascinating—they live on a different scale than humans and they all have special jobs to perform for our environment.
Investigate for bugs, insects and spiders.
- Look under rocks, logs or even patio furniture. Be careful when lifting up or turning over heavy items.
- Place a white sheet or piece of paper under a tree or shrub. Gently shake the tree and see what insects land on your sheet. The white background will make them very easy to see.
- Certain plants have a knack for attracting bugs. See if you can find any of these plants in your backyard or local parks. How many different bugs can you see on or around them?
- Common Milkweed
- Bee balm
- Place a light behind a white sheet at night and observe night insects
Build a home for bees! Bee Houses provide cover and places to raise young for bees. They're easy and fun to make, or they can be purchased. The orchard mason bee is a wonderful little creature. It does not live in a nest like other bees; it lives in wooden blocks, but does not drill holes and destroy wooden items like other bees. It uses holes that are already available, and it pollinates many species of flowers. The male orchard mason bee cannot sting and the female rarely stings. Directions can be found here - http://www.nwf.org/How-to-Help/Garden-for-Wildlife/Gardening-Tips/Build-a-Bee-House.aspx
Experiment. Communicate with a Firefly.
Build a Bug – Create your very own insect by utilizing recycled materials Ex, egg carton cut in half and miscellaneous items glued on as legs.
What to Read
Learn a little more about bugs while curling up with a good book.
- Mosquito Bite by Alexandra Sly and Dennis Kunkel
- The Prince of Butterflies by Bruce Coville and John Clapp
- Bug Butts by Dawn Cusick
- A Log’s Life by Wendy Pfeffer and Robin Brickman
- A Butterfly is Patient by Dianna Hutts Aston and Sylvia Long
- Eliza and the Dragonfly by Susie Caldwell Rinehart and Anna Clare Hovemann
- Stokes Beginners Guide to Dragonflies
- Peterson First Guide to Insects of North America
- Peterson First Guide to Butterflies and Moths
- Peterson First Guide to Caterpillars of North America
- Golden Guide to Insects
- Golden Guide to Eastern Butterflies
- Peterson’s Field Guide to Eastern Butterflies
- National Audubon Society Field Guide to Insects
- Field Guide to Insects and Spiders of North America by Arthur V. Evans
- Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America by Kenn Kaufman
- Dragonflies Through Binoculars- A Field Guide to Dragonflies of North America by Dunkle
- Tracks & Sign of Insects by Charley Eiserman and Noah Charney
- Caterpillars in the Field & Garden by Allen
- Guide to Night Singing Insects of the Northeast by Himmelman
Other Cool Pages
Enchanted Learning – Learn all about butterflies and other insects at Enchanted Learning.
Firefly (Poturis pennsylvanica - DeGeer)
Exploring Careers Outdoors (ECO) Camp – If you’re a high school and are interested in a career in the natural sciences or conservation ECO Camp is for you. You’ll meet and get to interact with professionals; such as foresters, wildlife biologists, geologists and many others; all while recreating in beautiful state parks. You’ll also be able to choose a mentor. The mentor can help connect you to future camp, volunteer or job opportunities, they could write a letter of recommendation for college or even help you navigate the state hiring process. Apply today!
Become a citizen scientist! A citizen scientist is someone just like you, who observe nature, record what they see and then share their information with researchers and professional scientists. The scientists then use your information, and information from thousands of other people, to answer important questions like ‘Are blooming earlier in the spring than they did 10 years ago?’ Use a link below to get started.
Become a conservation volunteer