It Is Done

Some time in April of 2011, my students are required to capture 30 different insects.  Today I gave the students instructions on how to make a killing jar, so they can have an early start on their collection.  This is a killing jar according to The Applie.

Want to know how to make an Applie Killing Jar?  Great!  Read on and find out.

The supplies you need are:

Insects, of course.  The one I had was the Lubber Grasshopper.

A small jar with air holes in the lid.  This is to keep the insect alive until you can kill it.

Insect jar

Other supplies include a large ziplock bag, small jar, cotton balls, finger nail polish remover,  rubber band, and old pantyhose.


Place three cotton balls in the small jar and pour some polish remover onto the cotton balls.  You’ll need a good amount.

The Killing Liquid

If you have the panty hose, remove the lid from the victim’s jar and use the rubber band to secure the nylon to the top.  This allows more of the fumes into the jar and kills the insect quicker.  I did not have any spare nylons, so it did take a while for this thing to die.

Place the cotton ball jar and the insect jar into the ziplock bag and seal. Try to squeeze out excess air.  We really don’t want the insect to have any fresh air.

Time to die.

Now set it aside and wait.  It took almost two hours for this grasshopper to die.  I don’t like it when it takes that long.

Some advice:

  • You do not want to put the polish remover in with the insect, because the insect will become wet and too nasty to pin later.
  • Using The Applie Killing Jar with butterflies, will make the wings open up beautifully.  The butterflies will be easy to pin and display.

So today this Lubber Grasshopper went from this

Lubber Grasshopper

to this in a couple of hours.


Now the students are equipped to go forth and rid America of some insects, all in the name of science. 🙂

If you are having trouble finding/catching insects read here how we collected some of ours.

12 responses to “It Is Done

  1. Very educational but kinda’ sad =( I wonder why the butterflies open their wings? Hmmmm….

  2. That is so sweet of you to make sure the insect has sufficient air holes to prevent premature death. lol
    Love you in that pic!

  3. We did a similar thing to kill the little froggies that lived with us in the spring/early summer. When I tired of them and their stinky mess, we made a killing jar with nail polish remover. However, we just threw the suckers right on top of the cotton balls since I was not planning on preserving them. We were quite hysterical while we did it…what do you think that it says about us??

  4. Dude. Grisly. And yet helpful and fascinating! WTG, Michelle, Michelle the Science Gal.

    (I’m doing that to Bill Nye the Science Guy in case that wasn’t painfully, rhyme-lessly obvious)

  5. LOL at the grin. Reminds me of the grin on the chicken day pictures.

  6. You really start doing them now?
    How do they save the little buggers until then? 🙂

  7. I saw the pinning board. I think I like that idea.

    If you keep them in a jar, do they need to be in several jars? Will their wings, legs, etc. crush if they bump against each other?

    • We use to have a bunch of medicine bottles for our insects. One per jar. Mostly, we just went ahead and pinned them to the board. Don’t put live different insects in the same jar. A friend said her son paid his little brothers a quarter for every insect they caught. They have four in one jar and the large beetle at the other three. LOL

  8. Oh, I am SO glad you’re ahead of me. haha.
    I would be lost otherwise. 😀

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