Animal Crossing New Horizons Bug CatchingSource: iMore/Casian Holly

Any fan of the Animal Crossing series knows that an important part of the game is catching, collecting, and selling bugs. From the common and harmless butterflies to the rare and dangerous scorpions, there are many insects and creepy crawlies to catch in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and good reasons to do so. Lucky for you, we here at iMore know where all these bugs are hiding, how to catch them, and what to do with them once you do!

Bug catching in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Animal Crossing New Horizons Bug CatchingSource: iMore/Casian Holly

One of the things you'll want to do every day in Animal Crossing: New Horizons is catch bugs. You can earn achievements, fill your museum, and make a ton of Bells by catching bugs. Plus, the bugs you can catch change throughout the day and year so you can fill out your Critterpedia.

How to catch bugs

To catch most bugs, all you need is a net, a bug, and some patience.

  1. You can craft a Net at a DIY crafting table.
    • A Flimsy Net only takes five Tree Branches. You can upgrade it to a regular Net with one Iron Nugget. Eventually, you'll even be able to craft a Golden Net, but to start with, a Flimsy Net works just fine. It will break eventually but since Tree Branches are an unlimited resource, you can easily replace it.
  2. Alternatively, you can buy a Flimsy Net from Timmy and Tommy Nook for 400 Bells.
  3. Once you have your net, you need to find a bug. This part is pretty easy. There are bugs all over your island. Some will be crawling on the ground, some resting on flowers, while others are flying around.
  4. When you have a bug in sight, get close and press the A Button to swing your net.
  5. Alternatively, you can hold the A Button while inching closer to the bug, so as not to scare it away while you line up the perfect shot.

Where to catch bugs

Animal Crossing New Horizons Bug Catching StumpSource: iMore/Casian Holly

Different bugs can be found in different places throughout your island. Many bugs will be flying around, while others crawl around on the ground. Others are more particular. You can find bugs in the following places:

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  • Ground: These bugs can be found crawling anywhere on the ground.
  • Flying: These bugs can be found flying anywhere.
  • Flowers: These bugs are only found close to or on flowers. Some might even prefer certain color flowers.
  • Rocks: These bugs can be found by hitting or even breaking rocks.
  • Wet Rocks: These bugs can be found resting on rocks when it's raining.
  • Beach Rocks: These bugs can be found on the rocks on the beach.
  • Beach: These bugs can only be found on the shoreline in the sand.
  • Trees: These bugs can be found by shaking trees.
  • Tree Trunks: These bugs can be found clinging to tree trunks.
  • Tree Stumps: These bugs can only be found on tree stumps left behind from cutting down trees.
  • Itchy Villagers: These bugs can only be found when one of your villagers has an itch.
  • Rotten Fruit, Turnips, or Garbage: These bugs can only be found when fruit, turnips, or trash have been left on the ground.

Hiding bugs

Animal Crossing New Horizons Bug Catching TreeSource: iMore/Casian Holly

Not all of the bugs in Animal Crossing: New Horizons will be out in the open. There are a few places where bugs can hide that require a little more effort to catch:

  • Trees: Sometimes bugs hide in the leaves or needles of a tree. To catch these hiding bugs, you'll need to shake trees until you find one. Be careful though! Wasps also hide in trees!
  • Rocks: Some bugs hide in the soil beneath rocks. To catch these hiding bugs, you need to hit rocks with a shovel or axe until one scurries out. You need to be fast though, because these bugs don't like the light and will quickly disappear into the ground.
  • Underground: One bug in particular likes to hide under the ground. You'll have to dig to find these ones.
  • Tree Trunks: There are some bugs that blend right in with tree trunks. If you move too quickly past these hiding bugs, they will fly away, so always keep your eyes peeled and walk carefully.
  • Sea Shells: Hermit crabs live inside sea shells, so be vigilant when you're collecting your treasures from the beach. If you have your net handy, you can catch hermit crabs before they crawl away.

When to catch bugs

While some bugs, like ants or common butterflies, can be found anytime of the year, most bugs can only be found during certain months. These months are similar to when these bugs would be around in the real world and are different based on which hemisphere you live in. Because the seasons are reversed in the different hemispheres, so too are the times of year when you can catch your bugs.

Likewise, not all bugs will be out at all times of day. Moths, for example, are found when it is dark out, while dragonflies are out during the day. Most bugs have specific time windows when you can catch them so if you're hunting a particular creepy crawly, make sure you've got the right time window to catch it.

Dangerous bugs

Animal Crossing New Horizons Safely Catch BugsSource: iMore

While most bugs will scurry or fly away if you're not careful, there are some bugs that are especially dangerous. The following bugs can hurt you, cause you to faint, or leave your face swollen and in need of medicine:

  • Wasps hide in Ttees. If you don't manage to catch a wasp quickly, it will sting you and fly away!
  • Scorpions and tarantulas can be found on the ground. They are very aggressive. If you get stung or bit by one, you will faint!
  • Mosquitos are less dangeous than the others, but they will bite you if you stand near them for too long.

To read more on how to catch dangerous Bugs, read our guide on how to catch trantulas, wasps, and scorpions.

Why do I want to catch bugs anyways?

Aside from bug catching being a significant part of the game, there are lots of reasons to be on the hunt. You can earn Nook Miles for catching specific bugs and lots of them. You can sell them for lots of Bells. You can even fill a museum.

Blathers' Museum

Animal Crossing New Horizons Bug Catching MuseumSource: iMore/Casian Holly

For fans of the Animal Crossing series, you already know Blathers. This bug-averse owl will come to your island and build a museum where one of every fossil, fish, and bug can be put on display. Blathers might dislike the bugs, but he still wants one of each of the 80 species found on your island. Not only is this a fun way to keep track of your achievement in bug hunting, but you can also go through the museum and see the different bugs you've caught. Blathers will even tell you fun facts about the bugs — much to his dismay!

Bells, Bells, Bells!!!

Probably the most compelling reason to catch bugs is to earn Bells. Bells, the currency of the Animal Crossing world, are necessary to build your home, purchase clothing and decor, and otherwise progress in your game. Like most anything else you can gather in New Horizons, bugs can be sold at Nook's Cranny for a lot off Bells. The rarer the bug, the more Bells you'll get.

To read more, see our fish, bug, and shell Bells guide.

Nook Miles

Animal Crossing New Horizons Bug Catching Nook MilesSource: iMore/Casian Holly

Another big benefit to catching bugs is the Nook Miles achievments. Nook Miles are a secondary currency used in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. These Miles can be exchanged for clothing, DIY Recipes, furniture, and most importantly, Nook Miles Tickets. Nook Miles Tickets are your pass to fly to a completely new, random island. On these islands, you can find fruit and plants that you might not already have, additional rocks to smash for iron nuggets and stones, and even new potential villagers.

You earn Nook Miles by doing all sorts of things in game, and that includes catching bugs. There are achievements for catching specific bugs, for catching certain numbers of bugs, and even for catching certain bugs multiple times. Since you need Nook Miles Tickets to unlock certain features in the game, you should always be catching bugs.

To read more, see our Nook Miles guide.

The Golden Net

There is one other reason to catch bugs in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and that is the Golden Net. The Golden Net is a special, nearly unbreakable net. While it is possible to break a Golden Net, it takes a very long time. However, you can only craft this incredible tool after you've caught one of every single bug in the game. Without time traveling, this will take many months, since certain Bugs are only available during certain seasons. Trust me, it'll be worth the effort!

Every bug available in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Thus far, there are 80 different insects, bugs, and other creepy crawlies to be caught on the Animal Crossing: New Horizons islands. While some, like ants can be found year round and any time of the day, others are limited to specific months and times. These various bugs can also be caught in different ways. The following are all 80 bugs so far, where and when they can be caught, and how much you can sell them for:

Bug Months* Hours Location Bells
Agris Butterfly April to September 8 AM to 5 PM Flying 3,000
Atlas Moth April to September 7 PM to 4 PM Tree Trunks 3,000
Ant Any Any Rotten Fruit/Turnips 80
Bagworm Any Any Shaken Trees 600
Banded Dragonfly May to October 8 AM to 5 PM Flying 4,500
Bell Cricket September to October 5 PM to 8 AM Ground 430
Blue Weevil Beetle July to August Any Palm Tree Trunks 800
Brown Cicada July to August 8 AM ro 5 PM Tree Trunks 250
Centipede September to June 5 PM to 11 PM Hit Rocks 430
Cicada Shell July to August Any Tree Trunks 10
Citrus Long-Horned Beetle Any Any Tree Stumps 350
Common Bluebottle April to August 4 AM to 7 PM Flying 300
Common Butterfly September to June 4 AM to 7 PM Flying 160
Cricket September to November 5 PM to 8 AM Ground 130
Cyclommatus Stag July to August 5 PM to 8 AM Tree Trunks 8,000
Damselfly November to February Any Flying 500
Darner Dragonfly April to October 8 AM to 5 PM Flying 230
Diving Beetle May to September 8 AM to 7 PM River 800
Drone Beetle June to August Any Tree Trunks 200
Dung beetle December to February Any Snowballs 2,500
Earth-Boring Dung Beetle July to September Any Ground 300
Emperor Butterfly December to March June to September 5 PM to 8 AM Flying 4,000
Evening Cicada July to August 4 AM to 8 AM 4 PM to 7 PM Tree Trunks 550
Firefly June 7 PM to 4 AM Flying 300
Flea Any Any Itchy Villagers 70
Fly Any Any Rotten Fruit or Garbage 60
Giant Cicada July to August 8 AM ro 5 PM Tree Trunks 500
Giant Stag July to August 11 PM to 8 AM Tree Trunks 10,000
Giant Water Bug April to September 7 PM to 8 AM Ponds and Rivers 2,000
Giraffe Stag July to August 5 PM to 8 AM Tree Trunks 12,000
Golden Stag July to August 5 PM to 8 AM Tree Trunks 12,000
Goliath Beetle June to September 5 PM to 8 AM Tree Trunks 8,000
Grasshopper July to September 8 AM to 5 PM Ground 160
Great Purple Emperor May to August 4 AM to 7 PM Flying 3,000
Hermit Crab Any 7 PM to 8 AM Beach 1,000
Honeybee March to July 8 AM to 5 PM Flying near Flowers 200
Horned Atlas July to August 5 PM to 8 AM Tree Trunks 8,000
Horned Dynastid July to August 5 PM to 8 AM Tree Trunks 1,350
Horned Elephant July to August 5 PM to 8 AM Tree Trunks 8,000
Horned Hercules July to August 5 PM to 8 AM Tree Trunks 12,000
Jewel Beetle April to August Any Tree Trunks 2,400
Ladybug March to June October 8 AM to 5 PM Flowers 200
Long Locust April to November 8 AM to 7 PM Ground 200
Madagascan Sunset Moth April to September 8 AM to 4 PM Flying 2,500
Man-Faced Stink Bug March to October 7 PM to 8 AM Flowers 1,000
Mantis March to November 8 AM to 5 PM Flowers 430
Migratory Locust February to May 8 AM to 7 PM Ground 200
Miyama Stag July to August Any Tree Trunks 1,000
Mole Cricket November to May Any Dig Underground 500
Monarch Butterfly September to November 4 AM to 5 PM Flying 140
Mosquito June to September 5 PM to 4 AM Flying 130
Moth Any 7 PM to 4 AM Lit Windows 130
Orchid Mantis March to November 8 AM to 5 PM Flowers 2,400
Paper Kite Butterfly Any 8 AM to 7 PM Flying 1,000
Peacock Butterfly March to June 4 AM to 7 PM Near Black, Purple, or Blue Flowers 2,500
Pill Bug September to June 11 PM to 4 PM Hit Rocks 250
Pondskater May to September 8 AM to 7 PM Rivers 130
Queen Alexandra's Birdwing May to September 8 AM to 4 PM Flying 4,000
Rainbow Stag June to September 7 PM to 8 AM Tree Trunks 6,000
Rajah Brooke's Birdwing December to February April to September 8 AM to 5 PM Near Black, Purple, or Blue Flowers 2,500
Red Dragonfly September to October 8 AM to 7 PM Flying 180
Rice Grasshopper August to November 8 AM to 7 PM Ground 160
Robust Cicada July to August 8 AM to 5 PM Tree Trunks 300
Rosalia Batsei Beetle May to June Any Tree Stumps 3,000
Saw Stag July to August Any Tree Trunks 2,000
Scarab Beetle July to August 11 PM to 8 AM Tree Trunks 10,000
Scorpion May to October 7 PM to 4 AM Ground 8,000
Snail Any Any Rocks in Rain 250
Spider Any 7 PM to 8 AM Shake Trees 600
Stinkbug March to October Any Flowers 120
Tarantula November to April 7 PM to 4 AM Ground 8,000
Tiger Beetle February to October Any Ground 1,500
Tiger Butterfly March to September 4 AM to 7 PM Flying 240
Violin Beetle May to June September to November Any Tree Stumps 450
Walker Cicada August to September 8 AM to 4 PM Tree Trunks 400
Walking Leaf July to September Any Ground 600
Walking Stick July to November 4 AM to 8 PM 4 PM to 8 AM Tree Trunks 600
Wasp Any Any Shake Trees 2,500
Wharf Roach Any Any Beach Rocks 200
Yellow Butterfly March to June and September to October 4 AM to 7 PM Flying 160
  • Note: The months listed are for players in the Northern Hemisphere.

Questions?

Do you have any questions about catching Bugs in Animal Crossing: New Horizons? Got any tips for your fellow players? Just want to show off your latest catch? Drop them in the comments below, and be sure to check out our many other Animal Crossing: New Horizons guides!

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

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