Crosby Arboretum’s annual Bugfest begins

Published 7:00 am Friday, September 21, 2018

Crosby Arboretum’s annual Bugfest begins today and will last until Saturday.

The yearly event features a plethora of interesting things to do for children and parents alike.

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Crosby Arboretum Education Program Coordinator Jennifer Buchanan said the goal for the Bugfest is to teach children and adults that bugs are not nasty creatures that deserved to be smashed. Rather, insects are a critical part of life on Earth. Buchanan said bugs help to maintain a regular food supply and many bugs reduce the number of dangerous pests.

“We couldn’t live without them,” Buchanan said.

This year’s Bugfest will be a two-day event and will focus on everything bugs, Buchanan said. The event will start Friday by hosting several homeschool groups and their families for a special tour from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Buchanan said children will be given nets to catch bugs and jars to put them in. Mississippi State University entomologist Dr. John Guyton will be teaching children how to identify bugs and start a bug collection.

That night, beginning at 6, Guyton prepare for the Blacklighting for Bugs After Dark Field Adventure by setting up white sheets backlit by black lights across the Arboretum, which will attract nocturnal insects. Children will be given glow-in-the-dark wristbands and will be led through the Arboretum’s trails by Buchanan. Scarecrow displays donated by local businesses and clubs set up through the Arboretum will make the event popular with the children.

The second day of Bug Fest will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday. The Audubon Bug Mobile will be at the Arboretum from 10 a.m. to noon, and there will be craft stations for children to make things. MSU Extension Agent Christian Stephenson will be conducting a presentation on how to identify and control bugs around the home and backyard for adults. This presentation will be from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday will also feature several beekeepers who will talk about the importance of bees, along with the “Bug Lady,” Linda Auld, from New Orleans.

Buchanan said the event will be a lot of fun for everyone. For non-members, the night adventure and Saturday’s activities will be $5 for adults and $2 for children. The activities will be free for members. Buchanan encouraged anyone interested in coming to the night adventure to bring a flashlight.