Setting the Trap!

Once you receive your Malaise trap, it’s very important to consider where it will be placed for the duration of the School Malaise Trap Program. Please review the following recommendations which will help you to finalize the location for your trap.


Most importantly, the trap should be placed in a secure location, such as a fenced off area or somewhere that is not visible to the public. If this will pose a challenge or there are concerns regarding vandalism, you may consider an alternate location for the trap (e.g. teacher’s private property).


Once you have determined that a location is secure, assess the surrounding habitat(s) and environmental features. Your local knowledge is important and you will likely know best about the unique ecosystems which can be found as a part of or near your schoolyard. Excellent examples of where to place your Malaise trap include a field’s edge, a woodland edge, near a stream or by a schoolyard eco garden. Be sure to also consider topography and vegetation. Placing your trap on level ground will assist with the ease of deployment and limiting the amount of vegetation, such as tall grass, found near the opening of the trap will ensure that the insects will have an open flyway through which they can access the trap.

Trap positioning:

Your trap should be positioned in a way which maximizes the number of insects that will pass through the opening. For example, if there is a wide opening in the vegetation, such as an animal trail or between trees, the trap should be placed with its opening facing the corridor. This will ensure that the insects will easily be able to encounter your trap.


Assess your schoolyard’s surroundings before the start of the program. It is possible that your school will have several excellent locations to deploy the Malaise trap. Take the time to explore the the unique habitats that your schoolyard or surrounding areas may offer. This is an excellent time to assess local ecosystems, create habitat maps and determine how humans impact the environment – all of which are important components of the curriculum.

Next Step: Specimen Sorting

Bringing Biodiversity to Canada's Schoolyards