Insect Preserving


Humanely preserve insects of your very own! Just add bugs and this lab is ready to go!


Ethyl acetate, reagent, 100 mL
Glass collecting/killing jar

Safety Precautions

This activity requires the use of hazardous components and/or has the potential for hazardous reactions. Ethyl acetate is a volatile and highly flammable liquid, a skin and eye irritant and is mildly toxic by inhalation and skin absorption. Always wear chemical splash goggles and chemical-resistant gloves in this laboratory. Familiarize yourself with the storage, handling and disposal requirements for ethyl acetate by reading the package label and Safety Data Sheet.


  1. Prior to use, charge the jar with killing agent by carefully pouring approximately 20 mL of ethyl acetate onto the surface of the plaster (to a depth of approximately 5–6 mm). Screw the cap on tightly. After 15 to 20 minutes, open the jar and pour any unabsorbed liquid back into the ethyl acetate bottle. Note: The ethyl acetate bottle should be marked: For killing jar use only. Immediately replace the cap of the killing jar.
  2. Insects are placed in the killing jar as collected. They will be quickly and humanely euthanized by the ethyl acetate fumes released by the plaster. Leave the insects in the jar for 10 to 15 minutes; prolonged exposure may cause discoloration.
  3. Recharge the jar every few days (it will depend on frequency of use) by repeating step 1. Be sure to keep the jar tightly capped at all times.

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