A pitfall trap consists of a wide-mouthed container sunk in the soil so its opening is flush with the ground surface. Containers ranging from disposable plastic cups to ice cream containers or plastic buckets are suitable. They can be used dry or part filled with water mixed with a few drops of detergent. The detergent reduces the surface tension of the water so that insects sink and drown rapidly when they fall into the trap. Pitfall traps collect invertebrates which walk over the ground surface, especially beetles, spiders, millipedes and centipedes.
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