Dead Bug Box




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How to Make a Cabinet

Any broad, flat box will answer, but it should be neatly joined, with a cover that fits closely. Some collectors use flat strips of cork, glued in the bottom, to pin their specimens on. Others stretch a piece of drawing-paper on a frame that fits closely in the box and leaves a half or quarter of a inch air space underneath, for the purpose of stowing gum camphor or other drugs to keep the moth, buffalo beetles, and other small pests from destroying the dried insects. But the following plan will be found most convenient:

Make a false bottom of wood or cardboard; fit it securely in the box on a frame that holds the false bottom, about hall an inch from the real bottom. Through the false bottom bore a series of round holes of a size to fit a number of small corks. In the top of these corks the specimens are pinned (Figs. 224 and 225).

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Fig. 224
The American Boy's New Box for Insects.
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Fig. 225

This cabinet has a great advantage over the others, for the collector can remove any cork, with the specimens attached, for examination or show with the least possible danger of injuring the frail object (Fig. 225). Lumps of camphor or other moth-preventive drugs can be freely inserted under the false bottom with no danger of damaging the collection by the heavy particles of the drug coming in contact and breaking the dried insects.

At any large food store, or many thrift stores, you can buy wide, open-mouthed "mason jars" with metal tops that screw on. These make perfect collecting bottles. Take a piece of common blotting-paper, cut from it several pieces in the form of circular disks just large enough to fit tightly in the bottom of the bottle. Push one piece down until it rests snugly on the bottom of the bottle. Saturate it with chloroform, ether, benzene, or creosote ; then fit a dry piece of blotting-paper over the wet one, and another dry piece in the metal stopper. Screw the top quickly on, and the fumes of the drug will fill the bottle, forming a death-dealing atmosphere to any unfortunate insect you may capture and drop in the fatal glass chamber (Fig. 226).

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Fig. 226.-- A Killing Bottle.
Fig. 227.-- A Grub in Spirits.
Fig, 228.-- A Beetle on Flat Cork.

Often the opportunity presents itself of capturing a small moth or butterfly without touching its delicate wings with your clumsy fingers, for if the insect is carefully approached, the top removed from the bottle and the latter inverted and placed over the victim, it will cease to live without a struggle and, with its dainty wings unmarred, may be preserved in your collection.

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Fig. 229
Insect on Drying Board.

Before going hunting insects, fill your pockets with all the pill boxes and glass vials that you can conveniently carry, and, armed with a net made of light gauze or mosquito-netting, sally forth. No game laws protect your game, no badly spelled and ungrammatical notices warn you not to hunt insects on the farms, because the farmers are all glad to have you make war on their little but expensive enemies.







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Last modified: October 15, 2016.