I have a very hard time killing healthy insects. Most of my butterflies have been found on their death bed, or they were dead already. A good place to find flying insects is the grill of your vehicle. I try to capture only the weak and dying and let the healthy finish their given work in the environment. Any where there are big outside lights, a parking lot, a little league sports game or your front porch, is another good place to hunt.
I put my live insects in a zip lock bag and place it in the freezer. A biologist friend of mine said it was a painless death. I hope she’s right. :( I started keeping zip lock bags with me at all times. I go prepared as you never know when you'll find an awesome bug. :) I started coating our foam board with diatomaceous earth because a few of my most beautiful moths were eaten by microscopic somethings. Why couldn’t they eat one of my ugly bugs? Grrrrrrrr....
Another sad thing I noticed was beautiful, gorgeous dragonflies do not keep their color after drying. Oh, how I love dragonflies.
You can buy tiny pins at a science supply company. Fat pins crush your insects. You need a tiny, thin, sharp pin. Then do the research, identify and label.
One thing I haven’t figured out yet is how to preserve a big fat juicy bug. They are going to smell as they decompose. I’ve learned to leave 5 inch grasshoppers alone because it wasn’t worth it. Ick! I wonder if we can put them in salt and make mummies out of them. Hmmmmm....more research
I have some pictures of some other things we’ve collected. The little white stone things were actual kidney stones out of a dog. Gross!!! Those are sharks teeth we found on the beach. We have tons of fossils too.