What’s the Idea?
Get the whole family together – go bug hunting and search for some creepy crawlies.
What’s the story
Bug hunting is a fun activity enjoyed by the full family. Well, maybe not everyone in my family. My mum is terrified of every insect out there!
This summer the biennial National Insect Week takes place.
Not only that, but the annual Great Bug Hunt competition is also upon us.
The Royal Entomological Society organises National Insect Week (22nd to 28th June) every second year.
People of all ages are encouraged to discover more about insects.
The Great Bug Hunt is an annual competition held each year for kids and is split into 4 categories, with each one winning a prize.
Many people go bug hunting throughout the year as a hobby and you can too!
Make a bug hotel for your newfound friends!
People should do this because…?
Scientists estimate there are 1.4 billion insects for every person on the planet.
Without insects, the world would be in a bad way, despite some people finding their skin crawl when they think of them.
Insects are the cogs that keep the Earth turning and bug hunting is important to keep track of any changes to their population.
Why We Need Bugs
- The Food Chain
Bugs are a food source for several different species, including humans.
It would be devastating if insects were to vastly reduce in numbers. This would cause a domino effect.
Not only would fish, birds and amphibians become extinct, but a large proportion of the human population would die off.
Insects are the cleaners of the planet. Without them eating and absorbing dead animals we would be living in a very smelly environment!
They also consume dead trees and leaves, among other things. Insects are, in effect, recycling the material.
Insects are vital for our plants.
Approximately 75% of the world’s flowers depend on insects to pollinate other flowers for fertilisation.
Believe it or not, bees aren’t the main pollinator in the insect world. Beetles are. It’s estimated that they pollinate 88% of all plants.
America relies on the pollination of plants to produce $20 billion worth of products every year.
- Pest Control
Believe it or not, less than 0.5% of insects are deemed pests. They are usually preyed upon by other insects.
Humans have used this to their advantage. For example, ladybirds are used by farmers to control aphids which destroy their crops.
Bug hunting is important, as it not only gives us an idea of the population of the bugs counted but the predators as well.
They say silk has been used by the Chinese for over 30,000 years.
The silkworm is the primary source.
They weave this amazing fibre for their cocoon.
A 100-metre single thread is made.
Silkworms do this by spinning over 300,000 times in a few days!
How do you do it?
Bug hunting requires nothing more than some old fashioned detective work.
Search out the bugs, identify them and take some notes.
Sketch or take a pic with your phone or camera.
Bug Hunting – Where to Look?
- Check under rocks
- Peek in old decaying trees
- Bushes and hedges
- The loft/ basement
The Great Bug Hunt 2020
Get the kids involved in this competition. There are 4 age categories:
- 3-5 years
- 5-7 years
- 7-9 years
- 9-11 years
Find out more info here: http://www.schoolscience.co.uk/bughunt
National Insect Week
Get involved in this activity and learn more about insects, no matter your age.
If you don’t want to go bug hunting you can still get involved by reading books or watching documentaries.
Find out more on their website: www.nationalinsectweek.co.uk
Stuff you may need
- Clear plastic box
- Insect identification book
- Bug hunting kit for kids that includes everything needed