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Animal Crossing: New Horizons — How to safely catch tarantulas, wasps, and scorpions

Animal Crossing New Horizons Safely Catch Bugs
Animal Crossing New Horizons Safely Catch Bugs (Image credit: iMore)

One of the biggest things you need to watch out for a while playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons is all of the creepy crawlies wandering about your island. Fortunately, most of the insects that you meet aren't a problem for you, but some of them can hurt you or at least give you a terrible fright. I'm not screaming. You're screaming. The thing is, if you actually happen to catch one of these bugs, you can sell them for a decent amount of money.

Here are some tips for safely finding and catching tarantulas, wasps, and scorpions in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

How to catch the scary bugs in Animal Crossing

Catching tarantulas

Animal Crossing New Horizons Safely Catch Bugs

Animal Crossing New Horizons Safely Catch Bugs (Image credit: iMore)

Tarantulas are very aggressive creatures as they tend to run after you. They don't actually hurt you, but they've definitely made me scream a few times. If a tarantula starts chasing you, you might be able to swing your net at it and catch it while it's charging. But if you're really not ready for that, try to get over a river or run into a house to get away from it.

However, if you happen to see a tarantula before it starts chasing you, do the following:

  1. Equip your net.
  2. Slowly approach the tarantula by holding down the A button while all of its legs are on the ground.
  3. Immediately stop if it rises up on its back legs.
  4. When it puts all legs back down on the ground, continue to slowly approach by holding down A.
  5. Repeat until you get close enough.
  6. When it's within reach, quickly tap the A button to swing your net.

When do tarantulas appear?

Animal Crossing New Horizons Safely Catch Bugs (Image credit: iMore)

For those playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons in the Northern Hemisphere, tarantulas appear from November through April between 7:00 pm and 4:00 am.

While running around your island during these hours, you're going to want to have a net handy. I personally prefer to always carry a net in my hands if I'm not using anything else; that way, I'll be more likely to catch a tarantula if it catches me unawares. Otherwise, I might be waking up back at my tent. Just be careful to avoid them at all costs should they charge.

Catching wasps

Animal Crossing New Horizons Safely Catch Bugs 008

Animal Crossing New Horizons Safely Catch Bugs 008 (Image credit: iMore)

Running around and shaking trees can help you find Bells, items, or tree branches. However, shaking those trunks can also dislodge wasps nests from their hiding places, causing the hive to attack you. To prevent yourself from getting stung, you need to catch the swarm quickly.

  1. Equip the net.
  2. Approach the tree from the front on either the right or left side.
  3. Press A to shake the tree.
  4. When a wasp nest falls, immediately turn towards it and tap A.

Animal Crossing New Horizons Safely Catch Bugs (Image credit: iMore)

Sometimes you've got no choice but to run. If you stop to change tools, the swarm will usually end up getting you. So, if you find yourself without a net in your hands when a wasp nest falls, my advice is to run into an available tent or building immediately. As a precaution, I only ever shake a tree if there's a net in my hands.

When do wasps appear?

Wasps can be found year-round and at any time of the day, so keep a look out for these stinging creatures. If you do get stung, run to a workbench, and create some medicine by providing a wasps nest and three weeds.

Catching scorpions

Animal Crossing New Horizons Safely Catch Bugs

Animal Crossing New Horizons Safely Catch Bugs (Image credit: Nintendo)

These poisonous bugs are also incredibly aggressive. As such, if one starts chasing you, you might want to consider jumping across a river or running into a house to get away from it. They're a bit rarer than tarantulas and wasps, but you can make a pretty penny off of them if you happen to catch one. Here's how to find and catch a scorpion:

  1. Equip the net.
  2. Slowly approach the scorpion by holding down the A button.
  3. Stop immediately whenever the scorpion hunches into a menacing position with its tail twitching.
  4. Once it relaxes, continue to slowly sneak towards it by holding down the A button.
  5. Repeat until the scorpion is within range.
  6. Quickly tap the A button to swipe at it with your net.

When do scorpions appear?

Scorpions only appear at night from 6:00pm to 5:00am within your game. You'll see them from April through September.

Take the sting out of it

Now you know the best ways for catching tarantulas, scorpions, and wasps. Hopefully, this will reduce the amount of medicine you need to make as well as reduce the amount of screaming you do while getting chased. I hope you're able to catch a bunch of them and turn them in for some sweet, sweet Bells.

Rebecca Spear
Rebecca Spear

Gaming aficionado Rebecca Spear is iMore's dedicated gaming editor with a focus on Nintendo Switch and iOS gaming. You’ll never catch her without her Switch or her iPad Air handy. If you’ve got a question about Pokémon, The Legend of Zelda, or just about any other Nintendo series check out her guides to help you out. Rebecca has written thousands of articles in the last six years including hundreds of extensive gaming guides, previews, and reviews for both Switch and Apple Arcade. She also loves checking out new gaming accessories like iPhone controllers and has her ear to the ground when it comes to covering the next big trend.