Hand collection is often recommended for controlling bigger insects that are easily visible. As it involves a lot of labor it is more suitable for smaller fields, for example in the cultivation of vegetables in homestead farming.
An insect that is easily visible and can be collected by hand is the red pumpkin beetle, which can be found on several Cucurbits.
Epilachna beetles, which are sometimes found on the leaves of eggplant can also be controlled by hand, as both the adults, the larvae and even the eggs are easily visible. Also big caterpillars can be easily collected by hand.
Small caterpillars that have recently emerged from an egg mass often stay together in a group for a while. They can be destroyed by collecting them together with the leave on which they are found.
When collecting insects by hand some care should be taken. Certain insects can bite or sting. Others have hairs or release liquids, which can cause irritation of the skin. As a precaution, gloves can be used or simply use a plastic bag to cover the hand.
The best moment to collect insects in in the early morning. The temperature is than still lower, which makes the insects less mobile. Also some insects which are active during the night can still be collected before they find a hiding place (for example caterpillars of the African bollworm, Helicoverpa armigera).