Flying insects are caught in a net made of mosquito-bar, or cheesecloth after the fashion of the minnow-net. The material is made into a bag about a yard deep, and about a foot in width at the top. The opening is fastened upon a wire hoop, which is secured to a pole — as a broomstick. Insects are killed by placing them in a" cyanide-bottle." This is prepared by placing two or three lumps of cyanide of potassium the size of a quail's egg in a wide-mouthed glass bottle, covering the lumps with a layer of fine sawdust held in place by snugly fitted pieces of pasteboard. The insects are quickly killed by the fumes of the poison. Keep the bottle corked. The cyanide is very poisonous, and the fumes should not be inhaled. Bugs and beetles, etc., may be pinned and mounted as soon as they are dead. It is customary to pin beetles through the right wing-cover, and bugs — as squash-bugs — through the triangular space between the wings. Butterflies and moths should have the wings carefully spread. This is done by placing on a "setting-board." This apparatus is a little trough with a crack at the bottom. The sides of the trough are made of thin bits of board, three or four inches wide and a foot or more long. These sides have very little slant. The crack in the bottom of the trough is left about a half-inch wide, and it is covered beneath with a strip of cork. The body of the insect is now placed lengthwise the crack, a pin is thrust through the thorax or middle division of the insect, into the cork, and the wings are laid out on the sides of the trough. The wings are held in place by strips of cardboard or mica pinned over them. Take care not to stick the pins through the wings. In about two weeks the insects will be dry and stiff.
Insects must be kept in tight boxes to keep other insects from devouring them. Cigar-boxes are good. Tight boxes with glass covers are generally used by collectors. Place sheets of cork in the bottom of the box to receive the pins. If insects attack the specimens, expose them in a tight box to vapors of bisulfid of carbon or benzine.
Larvae, and some other soft bodies, may be preserved in 95 per cent alcohol.