UF’s Entomology Club held its second annual BugFest Open House at Charles Steimetz Hall on the south side of campus. The event was aimed at promoting entomology and recruiting students to join the fascinating major of studying insects. About 500 seemingly confused students and Gainesville residents showed up on Wednesday to see the little critters.
Guests toured the department, met with advisors and professors, and participated in Hollywood-themed games and competitions. Games included cricket-splitting competitions, cockroach races, and maggot art. The event was rare enough to have Madagascar hissing cockroaches. “I haven’t dealt with a hissing cockroach since my ex-girlfriend,” explained Travis Beacon, an entomology junior. “Except this time, the cockroach wasn’t a nagging bitch.”
When asked why he became an entomology major, Beacon responded “I wanted to study something that I’d be interested in. I thought about business but thought it would be too boring. I mean, who wouldn’t want to study bugs in college?”
The cockroach races were the highlight of the event. The rules were simple- have your roach at one end of the table and guide them in the right direction. Unfortunately the winning roach had his title stripped away for testing positive for a banned substance.
And just when you thought the event couldn’t get any more exciting, visitors were able to dip fruit-eating maggots into paint, and watch them crawl around on star-shaped paper. Sophomore Allison Young particularly enjoyed the maggot art. “From now on whenever I have maggots in my apartment, forget about calling the exterminator—I’m going to turn them into the next Picasso.”
The first 100 guests at BugFest were rewarded with free tickets to the Florida Museum of Natural History’s Butterfly Rainforest and a free consultation with the pest control company Terminex.