How to go bug hunting

Visitors on an insect hunt at Wicken Fen National Nature Reserve, Cambridgeshire

Find all sorts of creepy crawlies with these tips about where they might be living. Then you'll soon be ticking another 50 things challenge off your list.

Hunting for bugs is No.31 on our list of 50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾.

You can find all sorts of creatures lurking in your garden, or at our places, or anywhere outdoors really. You'll need to be prepared though, bug hunting is fun, but you might need to be fast, and some creatures like centipedes and millipedes move quickly (it must be all those feet!) so you'll need to keep your eyes peeled like a real nature detective if you want to see them.

Where to look?

Great spots for searching include under stones and wood, the branches, bark and leaves of trees and in long grass, and you'll often find things hiding out in all of these locations.

Be gentle

Once you've found your bugs, remember that you're a giant compared to them, so be gentle with any that you choose to pick up as they'll probably be scared of you.

Let them go!

All bugs appreciate being returned to their homes after you've looked at them too, just like you'll want to go home at the end of your bug hunting adventure!

Learn more

If you get seriously interested in learning about bugs, insects and where they live, you can buy all sorts of bug hunting equipment like magnifying glasses, little viewing pots with lids and sheets to see bugs that you shake out from trees, but you don't really need anything except your eyes and your initiative for this challenge. 

You can also check out the videos below for more ideas about where to hunt for bugs and also so you can see the sorts of creatures you might find on your expedition. There are over 20,000 types of insect in the UK, so who knows what you'll discover?


Go on a bug hunt

This little video shows great places to start your bug hunt and even some of the bugs that you might find in their homes.


How to go bug hunting

In this video, children hunt for bugs at the National Trust's Leigh Woods near Bristol and Sissinghurst in Kent.