Making a More-Humane Insect Kill-Jar. Will This Idea Work?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by appleguy123, Aug 19, 2010.

  1. appleguy123 macrumors 603

    appleguy123

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    #1
    I am taking a semester course in entomology and we have to make an insect board. To do this, we must suffocate the insects over the process of many hours. I don't feel very good about doing it this way and would like to make the process quicker and less painful. Can you tell me if the following idea will work?
    I want to take This electric fly swatter and cut the mesh down to fit in a jar and wire it up the same way that the original tool was wired with the electronics in the bottom of the jar.
    Please only comment on the tool and not whether or not it is humane to kill insects by suffocating them over long periods of time.
     
  2. ideal.dreams macrumors 68020

    ideal.dreams

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    #2
    As long as the insects are hornets, wasps, or mosquitoes, have a blast :D. Aside from stinging and sucking blood, what else are they good for?

    Anyways, your idea seems like it would be a quicker method of death for the insect. If you feel bad about torturing insects, then that'd probably be the best way to go.
     
  3. appleguy123 thread starter macrumors 603

    appleguy123

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    #3
    I wouldn't have a problem with that, but I also have to kill my favorite insect ever.
    [​IMG]
     
  4. mrj412 macrumors regular

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    #4
    The idea is to keep the insects in a condition suitable for further study. That would most likely damage the insects in the process of killing them.
     
  5. appleguy123 thread starter macrumors 603

    appleguy123

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    #5
    I don't think so. I own the linked tool, and it just kills flies. They don't burn or fry the insect.
    Basically this thread was to ask whether it would be easy to wire something like this up, and what electric problems I might run into.
     
  6. ideal.dreams macrumors 68020

    ideal.dreams

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    #6
    If you start to feel bad, just remember - there's not just one, there's millions. I could understand if you were killing off a species, but if you're going to kill like a mosquito, keep the thought of there being trillions more in the back of your mind :p.
     
  7. appleguy123 thread starter macrumors 603

    appleguy123

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    #7
    I don't think it matters. I could say the same thing about humans.
    If I have to kill these insects I at least want to make it quick for them.
     
  8. ideal.dreams macrumors 68020

    ideal.dreams

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    #8
    Well not only is killing humans illegal, humans are actually important. Granted, there are some insects that do good for the world, but certainly you can't compare them to the life of a human.
     
  9. renewed macrumors 68040

    renewed

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    #9
    :rolleyes:... someone needs a reading comprehension class...
     
  10. appleguy123 thread starter macrumors 603

    appleguy123

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    #10
    The only reason that you feel that way is because you are a human. But in reality, besides helping themselves or repairing harm that they caused, what are humans good for?
    Also, please only respond to this and be done with it. I'm looking for help on how to best build the jar, not a debate on how important small forms of life are.
     
  11. Dr McKay macrumors 68040

    Dr McKay

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    #11
    [​IMG]
    Oh I'm sorry!....was that your Uncle?
     
  12. Bonch macrumors 6502

    Bonch

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    #12
    When bugs need to be preserved we always put them in a jar and filled it with rubbing alcohol. You can ship them that way intact to a lab for further study. Would this work for you? Use a small jar so you don't need a lot of liquid.
     
  13. ideal.dreams macrumors 68020

    ideal.dreams

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    #13
    nuh uhh, I never mentioned anything about whether it was humane or not :p
     
  14. bamaworks macrumors 6502

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    #14
    I was going to say this exact thing, Isopropanol or Methanol (think HEET brand in the yellow container) would do the trick far faster than traditional methods, I would personally use Formalin but I have access to such chemicals.
     
  15. chrmjenkins macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

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    #15
    Insects do not feel pain. They have the ability to detect touch, but they have no pain receptors.
     
  16. snberk103 macrumors 603

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    #16
    I took an entomology course for whole year in high school. We used, IIRC, a cotton cloth that had a little ether on it. We just popped the bugs into the jar, the fumes would overpower the little critters in minutes.

    I'm not concerned about the humanity of letting the bug die over several hours (OK - I wouldn't physically injure it and let if spend time that way, but suffocating is different) however I can see some practical issues with why this is a bad idea. You can't put different bugs into the same jar. Either they may escape while you add new samples, or they may try and eat each other while waiting to be pinned. Which means you will need lots and lots of jars.

    I would think that the electric gizmo would cause problems. Even burning off a few hairs off of a leg can change the identification markings. You really do want to preserve the specimens in perfect condition.

    Good Luck. I had a lot of fun, and wish I had kept my collection. The worst part was writing those really really really tiny labels. Ug!
     
  17. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

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  18. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #18
    heh heh heh. :D
     
  19. Macaddicttt macrumors 6502a

    Macaddicttt

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    #19
    I don't think this will work. I don't know what racket you've used, but the ones I have definitely will damage the insect. I got some good pops out of some mosquito. And the bigger the insect, the bigger the pop. And after the pop, there was little, if anything, left of the little guys.

    But if you say it'll work, I guess you must have something a little less powerful than mine.

    EDIT: After some research, it looks like you must have one powered by AA batteries, while mine uses D batteries.
     
  20. appleguy123 thread starter macrumors 603

    appleguy123

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    #20
    Yeah, I was wondering why yours mutilated insects. Mine just kills them and makes a sizzling sound. They don't even curl their legs up.
     
  21. Berlepsch macrumors 6502

    Berlepsch

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    #21
    Ethyl acetate seems to be the poison of choice for insect collectors. A bug collecting friend of mine usually puts a drop of it on a cotton ball and adds it to the jar. It is supposed to preserve the insect's colors and keep the chitin shell soft.

    More traditional is the use of potassium cyanide, but in today's ultra-anxious society it is probably difficult to convince your school that it is perfectly safe for humans if used responsibly. :rolleyes:
     
  22. bamaworks macrumors 6502

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    #22
    So, what's the verdict? Have you decided on a method of execution for our six legged friends?
     
  23. spaceboots06 macrumors 6502a

    spaceboots06

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    #23
    Freezing bugs is a painless death for them. I don't know how long it'd take though.
     
  24. bamaworks macrumors 6502

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    #24
    Though as previously stated that may take too long and run a risk of having the critters damage each other if you're trying to do more than one. I suppose one could up-end some canned air and use that to rapidly freeze specimens, the exact same substance is used (fluorocarbons) in specifically designed containers in pathology labs to rapidly freeze tissue specimens, so I suppose this could work as well.
     
  25. appleguy123 thread starter macrumors 603

    appleguy123

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    #25
    Okay, I've made the jar,but haven't tried to yet since it's 2 AM here. If you want pics/video of it just let me know.
     

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