'Bugs are Green' at Penn State's Great Insect Fair

Posted: September 20, 2010

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Discover how bugs help us recycle at Penn State's Great Insect Fair, being held on Oct. 2.

Sponsored by the College of Agricultural Sciences' Department of Entomology, the fair takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Snider Agricultural Arena, at the corner of Park Avenue and Fox Hollow Road (across from Beaver Stadium) on the University Park campus.

“Leaves, dead branches, and even animal dung are all recycled by insects such as beetles, roaches, earwigs and crickets,” Steve Jacobs, senior extension associate in entomology and fair coordinator. “Many people don’t realize the important role these insects play in helping decompose and break down organic waste that would otherwise accumulate in our forests.” This year's fair will feature fun games such as “Wasp Warriors”, where kids can pretend to be a beneficial insect by running a course to deposit a wasp egg on a cardboard caterpillar, then proceeding to a station to receive nutrition before getting another egg.

Organizers say other fun and interactive events are being planned to appeal to people of all ages:

  • Build-A-Bug Competition -- Bring your homemade insect for judging and a chance to win prizes
  • Insect Olympics
  • Cockroach Races
  • Putt Putt Golf
  • Butterfly Tent -- Interact with live butterflies.
  • Insect Petting Zoo -- See and touch many fascinating, live insects from around the world.
  • Insect Deli -- Featuring infamous "Chocolate Chirpies" (chocolate-covered crickets).
  • Ladybug Theater
  • Live Musical Entertainment
  • Children's Games and Crafts
  • Face Painting
  • Insect Vendors -- Shop for insect pets and insect arts, crafts, books and t-shirts.
  • The BugMobile! -- Learn about insects and integrated pest management while chatting with the one and only talking car.

Admission to the Great Insect Fair is free, although donations will be accepted to help defray costs. Free parking is available at the Snider Agricultural Arena and across Park Avenue behind the Centre County/Penn State Visitor Center. For more information, call the Department of Entomology at 814-865-1895 or visit the Web at

Established in 1963, Penn State's Department of Entomology provides undergraduate education, graduate student training and extension outreach education focusing on both domestic and international issues in insect science and pest management. Twenty-three faculty and more than thirty graduate students work on a variety of research topics providing insights into insect ecology, behavior and molecular biology as well as integrated pest management. The Department is part of Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences. For more information about solving insect problems, descriptions of research and education programs or admission to the graduate program, visit Web site at or contact the Department at (814) 865-1895.


EDITORS: For more information, contact the department of entomology at 814-865-1895.