Bugs can be a little harder to collect compared to fish. With fish you know they will be in the water, however bugs are found in a number of different places throughout your town.
You will need a net in order to catch bugs. You can buy a net at Tom Nooks for about 500bells or Tortimer will give you a free net (if you don’t already have one) during one of the ‘bug-off’ tournaments.
Due to the fact that bugs are found in a number of different places in your town it is important to keep a lookout. It is also advisable to have your sound turned up as a lot of the bugs make noise, which can help you locate them. When you're hunting bugs on the trees or on the ground it's recommendable to reach the beach and proceed northwards: you'll have a much better view of the surroundings.
Some bugs only appear on coconut trees, so be sure to plant some: coconuts appear at random on the beach, just like bottle messages and shells. When you find one, plant it by the sea (it won't grow if it's too far from the beach).
The bugs available to catch depend on several different factors such as time of day, month, and even weather conditions. If you are trying to get a particular bug first be sure you are hunting at the right time of day.
This is a list of the different times of day you can catch bugs.
- Morning: 4:00am-9:00am
- Noon: 9:00am-4:00pm
- Evening: 4:00pm-8:00pm
- Night: 8:00pm-4:00a
Common places to find bugs
- In trees: Bees are the most common bugs to be found inside tress. In order to get the bees you have to shake the tree and wait for the beehive to fall out. When this happens you only have a few seconds to catch one. If you fail to catch a bee you will be stung in the face. The bee sting can be cured by taking medicine or by saving your game. Once you return to the game, the sting will be gone. You can also cure bee stings by opening your town gate. If you are not trying to catch bees and you don't want them to fall when you shake the trees, open the gate and the only things that fall down will be bells and furniture. Spiders are also found by shaking trees, although they aren't as common as bees.
- On trees: A lot of bugs are found sitting on the tree trunks. Sometimes they can blend in and are hard to see, so it’s a good idea to walk around slowly if you want to catch them. Just like fish, they bugs will fly (or run) away if you scare them. The best way to catch bugs on trees is to slowly approach the tree from the front. Then, when your characters head is approximately half-way up the trunk, swing the net. You should also have a few palm trees on your beach, as a number of beetles can only be found on this type of tree.
- By garbage: Although it is a bad idea to leave garbage lying around in your town, this can be a good way to attract flies. Flies are hard to catch, but a loud buzzing noise will alert players to their presence. If you leave out garbage or spoiled turnips, flies will be attracted to them. Spoiled turnips also attract ants.
- Underground: Bugs like the mole cricket spend their time underground. It’s a good idea to keep your volume up, as this is the only way to tell where they are. You will have to dig a few holes before the bug shows itself. Once the bug is above ground you can catch it with your net.
- Near lights: Just like in real life, moths like to fly around lights. In the evenings and at night you will find moths flying around the lighted windows and lights in your town.
- On the ground: One of the most common places you will find bugs is on the ground. You will find more bugs on the ground in spring and summer than in winter. You will have to chase some bugs around before you can catch them. Some bugs will chase you before you catch them. The best way is to slowly walk toward them so you don't scare them away or make them attack you, which usually consists of falling unconscious and waking up at your house groggy.
- On neighbours: Unfortunately some of the villagers in your town may get fleas from time to time. This is an easy way to catch this bug. Simply swing you net at the villager and you will catch a flea. Be careful when hitting villagers with nets (and other tools). If you hit them when they don’t have fleas you will make them angry.
- On flowers: Snails, honeybees, butterflies and other bugs can be found on or around flowers, so it makes sense to have a good variety in your town.
- In the air: A number of bugs can be found happily flying around. Many butterflies and dragonflies can be found this way. Just be on the lookout for these bugs!
What to do with bugs
Like the fish, there are a few different things you can do with them.
- Donate them to the museum: The museum is empty until you start donating things. Blathers will accept a newly caught bug from you, as long as you haven’t already donated that specific breed (you will quickly discover that Blathers has a fear of bugs!). When you donate a bug to Blathers, he will tell you a number of facts about it, which usually includes the thing that disgusts him the most about it! Once you’ve donated the bug you can check the bug section of the museum and see all the bugs you have donated.
- Sell them to Tom Nook: Tom Nook will buy any and all bugs you have. The price he pays differs depending on species. Some bugs sell for 200 bells, while other bugs (like the Hercules Beetle) can sell for 12,000 bells! This is handy to help pay off that mortgage!
- Give them to a villager: Every so often villagers in your town will want certain items. Usually these items are clothes, furniture, bugs or fish. If you are able to provide the villager with the bug (or item) they requested you will usually receive a reward. This can be money or another item.
- Display them in your house: There are certain bugs that you will be proud of catching. Scorpions make interesting talking points when you have friends in your town via Wi-Fi. It is also handy to store larger bugs in your house while you wait for the ‘Bug-off’ tournament.
Bug catching requires patience; however, once you catch all the bugs in the game, you will be rewarded with the Gold net.