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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Stoneville, Mississippi » Biological Control of Pests Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #139836

Title: A Simple Device to Assist with Pitfall Trap Sampling

item Vogt, James
item Harsh, Daniel

Submitted to: Florida Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/13/2002
Publication Date: 3/1/2003
Citation: Vogt, J.T., Harsh, D.K. A Simple Device to Assist with Pitfall Trap Sampling. Florida Entomologist. 2003. 86: 94-95. 2003

Interpretive Summary: A simple device was constructed to help with pitfall trapping. Pitfall traps are commonly used to sample ants and other crawling insects. They usually consist of a small container buried to the rim in soil. A killing agent (propylene glycol, alcohol) is placed into the container and insects that crawl in are killed and collected for study. Common problems involved in pitfall trap sampling include soil being brushed into the containers during removal, difficulty removing containers from the soil, and frequent stooping during collection. Our device grips containers tightly from the inside, using a gum rubber head that expands laterally when a trigger is engaged. The device is 61 cm long, making it possible to retrieve pitfalls without bending and stooping. Researchers who frequently use pitfall traps should find this device useful.

Technical Abstract: A device is described for rapid, easy removal of pitfall traps embedded in the soil. The device prevents debris from entering traps during removal and reduces stooping and effort involved in pitfall trap retrieval.