For immediate release ‐ September 09, 2019
Contact: Jon Pishney, 919.707.8083. Images available upon request
(RALEIGH, N.C.) — Did you know there are approximately 30 species of dung beetles in North Carolina? And their odiferous job is beneficial to humans, both economically and ecologically? It’s true! For farmers, they provide free sanitation and fly control. For ecosystems, they greatly enhance nutrient recycling. Come find out all you ever wanted to know and more about dung beetles and their many buggy buddies when the Museum hosts its 24th annual BugFest, Saturday, September 21, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Free!
Special presenters this year include dung beetle aficionado and NC State entomology professor Clyde Sorenson, Tufts University professor and author Sara Lewis who will explain the loves and lies of fireflies, and the Museum’s own viral video-producing ant expert Adrian Smith who will talk about the secret world of insect behavior. You’ll also hear about tree-killing beetles, peculiar leafcutter ants, solitary bees and fascinating spiders.
This free event, the largest one-day bug-centric event in the country, introduces visitors to a range of arthropods from North Carolina and around the world. You’ll see Mexican red-rump tarantulas, Madagascar hissing cockroaches and Asian tiger mosquitoes and much more. Throughout the day, BugFest offers bugs and bug experts, games and activities (like the Stag Beetle Battles and Roachingham 500), live music, movies and presentations to entertain and educate the entire family.
If looking at all these insects makes you hungry, you can grab a plate of unique food at the Café Insecta, where local restaurants offer a variety of free bug-filled fare ranging from Superworm Chipotle Rice to Toasted Cricket Esquites. Eating bugs might sound weird, but not eating bugs is even weirder. Whether it’s Mexican agave worms or South African locust porridge, bug-filled dishes have found their way into the culinary palates of up to 80 percent of countries on Earth. And yes, they’re good for you.
BugFest is brought to you by Terminix Companies of Eastern North Carolina and BASF.
Jim Haugh, CEO of longtime corporate sponsor Terminix Companies of Eastern North Carolina, enthusiastically reflects on his company’s ongoing participation. “My colleagues and I are inspired by the creativity that is a BugFest hallmark. We are happy to continue our support of this remarkable festival with its spotlight on arthropods, which make up an astounding three-quarters of all animals on Earth! This year’s focus on beetles, a major arthropod group, which account for over 400,000 species (nearly one-fourth of all known types of animals), is especially compelling. For Terminix and its employees, this event provides a meaningful opportunity to help people of all ages learn about a diverse and sometimes mysterious part of the animal kingdom. We are delighted to continue our support for this educational, fun-filled day.”
Noting BASF’s focus on biodiversity as an important component of sustainable agricultural and the company’s appreciation for initiatives that highlight understanding of the natural world where inhabitants and ecosystems depend on interconnection to thrive, Community Relations Manager Carrie Gray said, “Our collaboration with the Museum engages BASF employees in a relevant volunteer outreach effort as they interact with visitors and offer information that contributes to environmental awareness. We enjoy sponsoring BugFest because we share with the Museum the goal of providing unique educational opportunities at no cost to participants and are passionate about providing hands-on opportunities for young people to interact with entomologists and other scientists.”
For more information about the event, including a complete list of presentations, exhibits and activities, visit bugfest.org.