Insect Enthusiasts Land at BugFest


Erika_Mack_Bugfest2017.jpgMore than 35,000 children and adults attended the annual BugFest held at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh, NC, in September. As in years past, the Southern Research Station (SRS) sponsored a table where hundreds of attendees paused to learn about SRS science and see insects up close. Eastern Threat Center resource information specialist Erika Mack and research ecologist Frank Koch, who co-organized SRS participation in the event, engaged with festival-goers and showed off insect members of the “Bio Bug Patrol,” including beneficial insects that eat insect pests. “My favorite interaction at BugFest was with an eight year old boy,” says Mack. They discussed why the southern pine beetle--the most destructive native insect in the South--is known as a bad bug, but “The child didn’t agree. He pointed out that beetles eat pine trees because they’re hungry, and how does that make them bad bugs?” she says. According to Koch, “Sharing our research with the public is important. I think many of the folks who stopped by will remember us and retain what they learned about Forest Service research.” Read more in CompassLive...

Pictured: Erika Mack talks to Bugfest visitors about the checkered beetle, which preys on southern pine beetles. Photo by Clynt Dudleson.


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