UF/IFAS is crawling with excitement as annual Bug Week nears
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is hosting its second annual Bug Week May 19-23 with activities for students, families and bug lovers around the nation.
“The UF Department of Entomology and Nematology is one of the best in the country,” said Ruth Hohl Borger, assistant vice president for UF/IFAS Communications. “Bug Week is a great opportunity for our researchers to excite the imaginations of children – and children at heart – about the bugs that live among us.”
The Bug Week website, http://bugs.ufl.edu/, is being updated with information on bugs commonly seen in and around Florida households, along with photos of orange-and-blue bugs. Bug enthusiasts can join the fun by using online resources from the website, which includes:
- videos on bees, ants, lovebugs, pest management, the citrus psyllid and bedbugs;
- a printable insect coloring book;
- lesson plans on the science of bugs (entomology);
- a daily Bug Blog, with fun bug facts, and;
- a “What Butterfly Are You?” quiz.
Post your best bug photos during the week on the UF/IFAS Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/UFIFASNews) or Twitter (#UFBugs), or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Facebook users will be encouraged to change their profile pictures to their favorite insect for the week.
The Bug Week celebration includes an effort to assemble the definitive go-to document of frequently asked questions about Florida bugs, with the help of residents and county Extension agents. Called “What’s Bugging You, Florida?” the project at http://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/entnemdept/tag/faq/will result in a searchable online database.
Organizers also plan a lunchtime live Twitter event on Wednesday, May 21, when experts will answer questions submitted to the event from noon until 1 p.m.
In addition, UF/IFAS is teaming up with the UF College of Veterinary Medicine for Operation P.O.P., or “Protect Our Pets.” The video series includes information on bugs that commonly cause problems for pets. Each video will provide background, a UF veterinarian’s explanation of diagnosis and treatment of infestations, an entomologist’s perspective, and advice on when to seek veterinary care.
Finally, two weeklong scavenger hunts are scheduled for the UF campus, including one for families and one for UF students. They will take place at the Florida Museum of Natural History, the Harn Museum of Art and the nearby Natural Area Teaching Lab. The student version also includes other parts of campus. Both scavenger hunts can be found on the Bug Week webpage.