Bug catching

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This article is about the bug catching mechanic. For general information on bugs, see Bugs.
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Bug catching, the act of obtaining a bug, is a part of the Animal Crossing series. Bug catching has been featured in all the Animal Crossing games, and in each game, bugs can be donated to the museum or sold for Bells. Despite the most expensive bugs selling for less than the most expensive fish, bugs are more diverse in prices, from 5 to 12,000 Bells.

Like fish, not all bugs are actually insects, for example the snail or spider. Bugs can be found in several different places among a town or an island, by far the most common is on trees. This makes it difficult to catch every type of bug, because some require specific tactics in order to be caught. In Animal Crossing: New Horizons, the player have to catch a certain number of bugs to be able to catch rarer bugs.

In many Animal Crossing games, bugs are caught with the net or its upgrades: the silver net and the golden net. In Animal Crossing: New Horizons, nets can break after catching a certain number of bugs.

Catching the bugs


Main article: Net

There are 2 types of net in Animal Crossing and Animal Crossing: Wild World, but 3 in Animal Crossing: City Folk and Animal Crossing: New Leaf.


Sold in Tom Nook's Store (Timmy and Tommy's store in Animal Crossing: New Leaf) for 500 Bells.

Silver Net

Sold (rarely) in Tom Nook's Store (Nook 'n' Go and above) for 500 Bells (City Folk) and sold in the Museum Shop for the same price (New Leaf). It is a little bigger than the regular net, so it is better at catching bugs. The silver net only appears in City Folk and New Leaf.

Golden Net

Given to the player by Tortimer when the player has caught all the 40 (Animal Crossing), 56 (Animal Crossing: Wild World), 64 (City Folk), or 72 (New Leaf, given by Nat during the Bug-Off). This net makes it much easier to catch bugs.

Bug locations

There are several locations where bugs can be caught:

On trees

Many bugs appear on the trunks of trees. The player must walk up slowly to the tree to avoid scaring the bug off, especially if it is a rare variety. More bugs appear on trees than anywhere else, but usually only during the summer.

On tree stumps

In Animal Crossing: City Folk and Animal Crossing: New Leaf, the Violin beetle and Longhorn beetle reside on tree stumps. While not difficult to catch, the player must make sure they have some stumps in town, by cutting down at least one tree without removing the stump.

On palm trees

Six rare bugs can be found on the palm trees, so growing them near the beach is worthwhile. All must be approached extremely slowly to avoid being scared off. Palm tree bugs include the Goliath Beetle (6,000 Bells), the Golden Stag (12,000 Bells), the Hercules Beetle (12,000 Bells), the Atlas Beetle (8,000 Bells), the Elephant Beetle (8,000 Bells), and the Cyclommatus (8,000 Bells). There is also a Coconut Crab, but it is found only in Doubutsu no Mori e+.

On the ground

Crickets, grasshoppers, stunners, and a few others are found on the ground. They usually hop around, so the player should think ahead to where the insect is going to be and then swing the net in that location. The player should also avoid luring them into water, otherwise the bug will not be able to be caught. Ground bugs never appear during rain, except for the walking leaf.

In the air

All butterflies and dragonflies are found flying around, and the Firefly, Honeybee, Mosquito, and Moth are also. Air bugs disappear during rain. The player may need to run after the bug to catch it and avoid luring it out of town where the sea is. Also, to catch the Peacock butterfly, hybrid flowers need to be present.

On flowers

A few bugs are found on flowers; these also disappear during rain. The Snail, Ladybug, Spotted Ladybug, Mantis, and Orchid Mantis are the five flower bugs. The player needs to approach these bugs slowly to catch them.

On garbage

The Ant and Fly are found near/on trash or candy. The fly is also near Rafflesia.

Near snowballs

The Dung beetle pushes snowballs around in winter. The player should approach the moving snowball slowly and swing the net at it to catch the bug.


The mole cricket lives underground and makes a buzzing noise when the player is near. The player should use their shovel to dig holes where the buzzing is loudest and after a few attempts, the mole cricket may pop out and start crawling around. The player should immediately switch to the net and catch the insect before it leaves the screen or falls into a body of water.

Under rocks

When the player hits a rock with a shovel, a pill bug, centipede, or house centipede (Animal Crossing: New Leaf only) may come out. If this happens, the player should quickly switch to the net and catch the bug. The slow speed of these bugs makes this a straightforward task.