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How to Set up a Pitfall Trap
Another way to catch soil dwellers is to set up a pitfall trap. Get a smooth-sided container like a soda bottle cut in half or a large margarine tub. Dig a hole (save the soil to replace later) and put the container in it. The top of the container should be level with the ground. You can put some crumpled paper or an inch or so of water in the bottom of the container. If you want to try a baited trap, meat scraps, decaying fruit, or molasses mixed half with water all work well. Each type of bait attracts different arthropods, so use only one type of bait at a time.

Place four or five small stones around the top of the container and put a piece of wood or heavy cardboard on the stones. Make sure you leave space for the arthropods to drop in. Put another handful of stones on top of the board to hold it down. Let the trap sit for a few hours or overnight, then check to see what you have caught. Try experimenting with different baits to see if they attract different arthropods.


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