Bohart Museum Open House: Bed Bugs and Cochroaches and Pantry Pests

Bohart Museum Open House: Bed Bugs and Cochroaches and Pantry Pests

Entomology, or the scientific study of insects, is not just rural--it's urban, too.

Think bed bugs, cockroaches, carpet beetles and pantry pests, among others.

Those are some of the critters you'll learn about if you attend the Bohart Museum of Entomology's open house on urban entomology, set from 1 to 4 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 18 in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building on Crocker Lane, UC Davis campus. It's free and family friendly.

Karey Windbiel-Rojas of the UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program (UC IPM)--she's the associate director for Urban and Community IPM who serves as the area urban IPM advisor for Yolo, Sacramento and Solano counties--will be there to greet visitors and answer questions, as will Bohart Museum scientists and staff.

The pests the UC IPM scientist has been dealing with lately include carpet beetles, bed bugs and pantry pests. She'll hand out two newly published Quick Tips on carpet beetles and pantry pests, as well as information on other pests.  What are some of the other pests?  UC IPM's Quick Tips library ("some are household insects, some are pests in the garden/landscape, and some are obviously not arthropods") is here:

The open house will focus on both household and garden insects, said Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum and professor of entomology at UC Davis. "The focus is urban entomology," she said. "We'll have out examples of all the wonderful household pests/friends and garden pests, along with the kinds of things they inspect restaurants for."

Like cockroaches, which thrive in human habitats and date back 350 millions years ago.

As an aside, Windbiel-Rojas promises to wear--or display--her cockroach costume that she wore on Halloween.

For the family arts and crafts activity, visitors will create mosaics rice in various colors. The youngsters will layer the colors in glass jars with lids. "This can serve as pretty artwork but also remind their parents to store grains in tightly sealed containers to keep pantry pests from infesting," Windbiel-Rojas said.

At a previous open house, youngsters glued dried rice and beans on insect images created by UC Davis entomology student/artist Karissa Merritt. It proved to be a popular activity.

Entomologist Jeff Smith, who curates the butterfly and moth collection at the Bohart, will be among the scientists at the open house.  He worked in the pesticide industry for years, training people about entomology, noted Tabatha Yang, the Bohart's education and outreach coordinator.

The open house is free and open to the public. A donation jar will be set up to help Bohart Museum specialist Brennen Dyer; he and his wife lost their home in the wildfire fueled by strong winds that destroyed most of Paradise, Butte County. Profits from the sale of items in the gift shop on Sunday are also earmarked for the Dyers. (See Bug Squad blog.)

The Bohart Museum, home of nearly eight million insect specimens, is the seventh largest insect collection in North America and houses the California Insect Survey, a storehouse of insect biodiversity. In addition, the Bohart features a live "petting zoo," comprised of Madagascar hissing cockroaches, walking sticks, tarantulas and praying mantids; and a year-around gift shop, which is stocked with T-shirts, sweatshirts, books, jewelry, posters, insect-collecting equipment and insect-themed candy.

Other public weekend hours for the academic year 2018-2019 are:

  • Saturday, Jan. 12, from 1 to 4 p.m.: "Time's Fun When You're Studying Flies"
  • Saturday, Feb. 16, times vary: (campuswide) Biodiversity Museum Day
  • Saturday, March 9, 1 to 4 p.m., "Eight-Legged Wonders"
  • Saturday, April 14, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., (campuswide) UC Davis Picnic Day

The Bohart Museum's regular hours are from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays. It is closed to the public on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and on major holidays. Admission is free.  More information on the Bohart Museum is available on the website at or by contacting (530) 752-0493 or emailing