Ohio night event wants lots of bugs and kids

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(Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences) – Swarms of bugs will be out in the darkness—buzzing, flying, bioluminescing—on July 13 in Wooster. And that’s good news for curious kids and their hopefully equally eager families.

The Ohio State University’s annual Insect Night is set for that evening at Secrest Arboretum. The event will celebrate the many-legged creatures that call our planet home—especially the creepy-crawlies for whom the nighttime is the right time.

“Insects are the most diverse animals on Earth. They affect our ecosystems, agriculture, and health,” said event co-organizer Kendall King, an Ohio State graduate student in entomology, or insect science. “This is our way of sharing our passion for insects with our local communities.”

Secrest Arboretum is on the Wooster campus of Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), 1680 Madison Ave. Wooster is about 50 miles south of Cleveland.

The family-friendly event, scheduled for 8–10 p.m., offers cockroach racing, face painting, edible insects, build-a-bug crafts, firefly catching—fireflies will be the ones bioluminescing, or making their own light—and a bug zoo whose residents include tarantulas and giant millipedes.

Also at the event will be scientists, staff, and graduate students from CFAES’ Department of Entomology, who will answer your bug-related questions; moth collecting using glowing light traps; and guided walks that will take you out to see what’s there in the night.

Luna moths, burying beetles, and wolf spiders—spiders aren’t insects but are relatives called arachnids—are some of the possible finds.

Remember a flashlight. Wear sports or walking shoes. And bring a clean, dry jar to hold your catch.

Admission to the event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit go.osu.edu/InsectNight2019. If rain is threatening, call 330-263-3723 to find out whether the event will go on. The rain date is July 16 at the same time and location.

Sponsors of the event are the arboretum, entomology department, and Ohio State’s Entomology Graduate Student Association, of which King is a member.

“We study insects to help people and because insects are really cool,” King said of the grad student group. “At our outreach events, we try to emphasize that insects aren’t just icky or gross but are actually helpful and awesome.”

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