Hey guys! I had some of my friends ask me to make them a little guide on how I’ve been making bells in ACNL since I’m paying off so many of my characters houses. 

I make all of my bells from beetle hunting and fin fishing on the tropical island! I prefer to hunt alone, that way I can hog all the goods to myself, hehe.

  • First step? Clean up your island!

If you’re going to be using the island as a bell gathering spot like me you’ll need to take away all of the flowers, shrubs, and extra trees. Yes, even the ones on the grass - I know there a couple of high ticket beetles that rez there but I don’t think it’s worth it for quick bell hunting since so many other 2k ones show up. Better to keep the minimum of 6k with Goliath beetles.

I leave 6 palm trees in total along the sides of the island. This way I can actually start from the bottom and look ahead to see what beetles have rezed on the next trees without scaring them away! So handy, especially if you have trouble with the skittish Golden Stags.

  • Second step, scare away those pests!

Now that your island is cleaned up you’ll have a lot less random encounters of bugs to deal with. But that doesn’t get rid of all of them. You’ll still deal with Tiger Beetles, Wharf Roaches, and Hermit Crabs. If these are showing up it’s taking away changes for tree beetles to rez! So do your best to scare them away, I like to slap my net on the ground. Usually sends them running. Also remember to scare away extra fish shadows too so you have a chance to see a fin fish!

I always wait to start bell hunting until 7pm. This way no grasshoppers or locusts are spawning any more. If you want to wait even later with your night owl ordinance that’s great too! Tiger Beetles stop spawning at 11pm so more chances to get palm tree beetles. :D

  • Third step, go in circles until the goal is met.

I like to start going straight down the map. This way I can automatically scare away any roaches or tiger beetles chilling there. ALWAYS START FROM THE BOTTOM! This way you can see your beetles before you scare them! I like taking my island in a figure 8 motion so I can see the whole island and check the water for any finned fish.

And after all that just fill up your drop box inventory with as much as you can get and get those sweet, sweet bells!

***Please take note! This is just how I personally practice to get bells, there all are all sorts of methods to try out - so feel free to reference it and change whatever you like to make it a better bell gathering experience for you!



1. Plant lots of palm trees

- this should be obvious and you’ve probably already done this step

2. Remove all flowers

- butterflies won’t spawn after this however if you are so inclined they don’t spawn around hibiscus shrubs so you can leave them

3. Cut down all deciduous trees and remove all stumps

- leave as few trees as you’d like if you want to catch scarab beetles, rainbow stags and giant stags

- if you do leave some, actively scare away cheap bugs as soon as you see them! 

That should be a general rule. There’s a limit to the number of bugs on the island so scare off the cheap bugs actively. That way you force the game to respawn more bugs (which are hopefully big beetles).

So good so far… but what about stuff like wharf roaches, tiger beetles, locusts, and hermit crabs? Well remember, if you don’t give them a place to spawn they won’t spawn


Just litter crap all over every walkable tile on your island. Bugs can only spawn on empty spaces. I’m working on getting the beach covered too but I’m going p casually about it (ie each day just throw coconuts and shells into the center). In a pinch you can dig holes but they don’t stay on the island and you can’t walk through them (duh).

The way the algorithm works it seems that bugs tend to spawn in the same place so if you walk around and a roach has appeared onscreen, just drop an item on that spot. I dunno if covering every single tile will mean no more ground bugs but in either case, if you see them, chase them into the water.

In my experience this made beetle hunting go so much faster that I rarely circle the beach more than once before seeing something worth catching (whereas before I’d be lapping the beach constantly). God knows I should spend more time working IRL to earn actual money rather than bells T w T. Anyway, hope this helps and saves you some time.