Love insects? Want to look at them more closely? Then learn how to make a pooter – a cool little gadget that lets you suck up bugs (safely, and with care!) to study…

How to make a pooter

Make a pooter

What you’ll need:

Clear plastic food tub with a resealable lid
Two flexible straws (please use biodegradable or paper ones!)
Sticky tape
Old nylon tights (clean!)

Step 1

Make a pooter

First, make a filter to stop any bugs accidentally going in your mouth! Cut a small piece of the nylon tights to cover the hole at the bendy end of one straw. Fasten it at the sides with tape.

Step 2

Make a pooter

Next, make a small hole in the middle of the tub’s side using a sharp point — such as a compass. Insert a pencil into the hole to widen it until it’s just big enough for the bendy end of the other straw to poke through.

Step 3

Make a pooter

Repeat Step 2 with the filter-covered straw on the opposite side of the tub. The hole may need to be a little bit bigger so the filtered straw fits through.

Step 4

Make a pooter

Make two small sausages of Blu-Tack or other putty and circle them around the straws where they enter the tub. Firmly press them in place to block up any air holes. Then put the lid on the tub.

Step 5

Make a pooter

Now test your pooter using a bug-sized object, such as a grain of rice or a bit of paper. Position the filterless straw near the object. Breathe in quickly through the filtered straw. The specimen should shoot up into the pooter. Yay, it’s time to go bug hunting!

Make a pooter

When you’ve finished observing your bug in the tub, be sure to remove the lid and gently release it back where you found it!


Don’t try to suck up anything that’s bigger than the end of your straw!

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  • Raymond

    Very interesting.

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