STATE PLANT BOARD
Septemb er 1949 ET-277
United States Department of Agriculture
Agricultural Research Administration
Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine
A COLLAPSIBLE CAGE FOR FIELD USE
By R. L. Wallis
Division of Truck Crop and Garden Insect Investigations
An inexpensive insect cage for field use has been devised, which is
easily operated and collapsible so that it can be readily stored. It can
be constructed in any desired size and covered with various materials
to make it suitable for different insects. Cages of the size and material
described have been used to cage potato psyllids and tuber flea beetles.
The frame of the cage is constructed with two 1/4-inch smooth con-
crete reinforcing rods 8 1/2 feet long. Each rod is bent into a U-shape
with 21 inches between the sides; 17 1/2 inches of the rod at each end is
bent inward 1 1/2 inches as shown in figure 1.
Another rod of the same material is made into a ring 17 inches in
diameter, and marked at four equidistant points. This ring is placed
on the ground where the cage is to be set. The U-shaped rods are then
inserted into the ground, one at right angles to the other, nearly to the
bend, at the indicated points outside the ring (fig. 2). The two rods are
tied at the top. The ring is then removed and used for setting other cages.
This forms the frame for a square cage 21 by 21 inches and 28 1/2 inches
The cloth cover is made of muslin, though any material desired may
be used (fig. 3). A piece of cloth 36 inches wide and 59 inches long is
sewed together to form a sack open at both ends. A drawstring is sewed
in one end. This cover is pulled over the frame of the cage and the
drawstring pulled under the inward bends at the ground. The frame is
then pushed further into the soil so that the bends firmly contact the soil.
The lower edge of the cloth on the inside is covered with soil to prevent
insects from escaping under it, and the upper edge is gathered and tied
with a cord to close the cage. The cloth cover is not fastened to the
frame at any point.
The frame of the cage is painted to prevent rust from staining the
cloth. It has been found that the cloth will last 2 to 3 months in the
summer in a dry climate. By painting the lower 3 or 4 inches where it
comes in contact with the gound, the cloth will last longer.
The cage is opened by untying the cloth at the top. If it is necessary
to open the cage frequently, or to prevent the escape of very active insects,
a zipper or sleeve may be sewed in the side of the cage. If a celluloid
window is provided, observations can be made without opening the cage.
This cage has the particular advantage of being easy to store. A
space 2 by 3 by 4 feet will store approximately 100 cages.
Figure 1.--One section of the frame of the
Figure 2.--Frame of the cage in place
ready for the cloth cover, showing the
ring used for spacing the points of the
of the frame. The ring is removed
before the cloth cover is put on.
Figure 3.--Complete cage
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UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
3 1262 09242 9074