2 1.5 liter plastic soda bottles with the caps
3 long U stakes (you could also recycle some old croquet loops)
Black duct tape or Gorilla tape (or whatever color goes with your specific insect)
Paint (it's more eco-friendly to hand paint rather then spray paint, but it's what I had)
*Filler supplies (see FILLING OPTIONS)
OPTIONAL: Large craft eyes & hot glue
1. Take one bottle & remove the label, then paint it the main color of the insect. (creating the bugs body)
2. Take the second bottle and cut it into quarters length wise.
3. Take 2 of the quarters and overlap them, then tape them together (creating a pair of wings)
4 Tape the wings onto the body with your black tape.
5. Tear of a length of tape and arrange all 3 stakes on it in a row.
6. Then stick that length of tape to the belly of the bug & stand the legs up straight.
7. Working with thinner bands of tape add the bugs stripes in between each set of legs. (This also secures the legs more)
8. Now you can stand your bug upright, add some eyes, and drill a vent hole in the bottle cap. (It's ready to be filled)
Note: You can use these same techniques to construct virtually any bug you wish. You can also use any variety or shape of bottle that fits your design.
You can fill your bug with a variety of natural bug repellants, such as sticks of cinnamon, cloves, chunks of garlic, or even spearmint gum. I like to use peppermint & spearmint because they cover the most variety of insects & can even potentially deter some rodents. Filling your bug with cotton balls soaked in pure peppermint oil will give you the most potent and thus most effective repellent. Here is a list of repellents that will work to target specific pests with oils:
• Ants — Peppermint and Spearmint
• Aphids — Cedarwood, Hyssop, Peppermint, Spearmint
• Beetles — Peppermint and Thyme
• Caterpillars — Spearmint and Peppermint
• Chiggers — Lavender, Lemongrass, Sage, Thyme
• Cutworm — Thyme, Sage
• Fleas — Peppermint, Lemongrass, Spearmint, Lavender
• Flies — Lavender, Peppermint, Rosemary, Sage
• Gnats — Patchouli, Spearmint
• Lice — Cedarwood, Peppermint, Spearmint
• Mosquitoes — Lavender, Lemongrass
• Moths — Cedarwood, Hyssop, Lavender, Peppermint, Spearmint
• Plant Lice — Peppermint, Spearmint
• Slugs — Cedarwood, Hyssop, Pine
• Snails — Cedarwood, Pine, Patchouli
• Spiders — Peppermint, Spearmint
• Ticks — Lavender, Lemongrass, Sage, Thyme
• Weevils — Cedarwood, Patchouli, Sandalwood
Oils can be spendy & sometimes difficult to find so for all you other penny pinchers out there, here is what I do:
1. Buy a bottle or bag of an oil infused bath salt (or epson salt). The more potent smelling the better.
2. Mix the salt with water at a 1:1 ratio. (1 Tbs per cotton ball usually)
3. Swirl it around until the salt begins to dissolve.
4. Throw in your cotton balls 1 at a time until all the liquid is absorbed.
5. Stuff the soaked cotton balls into the bug & screw on the cap. (You want about 8-10 cotton balls per bug)
6. If there is any remaining undissolved salt, you can sprinkle it on the ground around the garden to deter slugs as well.
7. Then stake your bug where you like it best with the vented end tipped slightly towards the ground.
8. About once a week check your cotton balls if they appear to be dry you can rehydrate them with the same solution. (you don't have to remove them, just add the solution straight into the bug)
The bugs keep the scent right where you need it most, and they keep the repellent sheltered, and safely contained.