Entomology (Insects)

Project Area Photos


Entomology is the study of insects and all six-legged creatures. Getting to know insects can be a fun way to get outside and see what is there. There are insects everywhere on Earth, even in the coldest Arctic! 


  • Learn about the importance of insects to your everyday life
  • Explore insects in their natural habitats
  • Collect and identify insects to make an insect collection
  • Join a citizen science project monitoring monarchs, bees or other beneficial insects

Ideas for Project Area Learning!



  • Learn about insect biology including insect body parts and how insects communicate with one another
  • Research what types of bugs are considered pests 
  • Demonstrate how to make an insect net and how to use it
  • Research how insects use color to blend in with their environment
  • Learn the life cycle and life stages of insects
  • Interview an exterminator about what insects are considered pests
  • Research Integrated Pest Management and how it is used to manage insect pests in crops
  • Create a butterfly garden to attract butterflies to your home
  • Find out how different types of insects eat
  • Start your own insect collection
  • Learn how to classify insects in different groups
  • Investigate the importance of wings and flying in insects

Share What You Learn with Others!



Communications


  • Conduct a workshop to help people understand household pests and how to control them.
  • Visit the local nursing home and give a presentation about insects.  Bring your insect collection or jars of insects to share for show and tell!
  • Make a video about how to make a butterfly garden.

Leadership


  • Plan a field trip for a youth group to visit an insectary.
  • Hold a workshop to show younger 4-Hers how to make their own bug collection.
  • Teach a class on beneficial insects and how to promote habitat for them. 

Civic Engagement


  • Plant a butterfly garden for an elementary school, daycare, or nursing home.
  • Create a caterpillar or butterfly display for a classroom so students can see the real life change from caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly!

Exhibit Ideas



  • Create a poster showing different crop pests and their natural predators. 
  • Make an insect display with scientific and common names.
  • Create a butterfly garden in your backyard and record the species that visit it. 
  • Interview a bee producer and learn why bees are important to plants and the environment. 
  • Make a video showing the different invasive species in your area, how they effect the ecosystem, and how they are spread. 
  • Create a list of beneficial insects and find out what makes them beneficial.
  • Some butterflies and insects migrate. Find out which ones do and where they go for the winter.
  • Scout a field for insect pests. Record what you see and use resources to make management recommendations based on Integrated Pest Managemen

    Other Resources

    • Create a butterfly garden in your backyard and record the species that visit it.  These websites will help you get started!  University of KentuckyUniversity of Minnesota
    • Iowa Insects, Spiders, and Other Invertebrates- The Iowa Association of Naturalists presents a booklet all about insects, spiders, and invertebrates.
    • Insect Almanac- Insect information for use in urban, crop, livestock, and other areas all in one place, provided by the University of Nebraska.
    • Who let the Bugs Out?- Purdue University identifies the difference between beneficial insects and pests. Learn how to identify them too!
    • Kentucky Critter Files- Learn about insects, spiders and other arthropods through the University of Kentucky Entomology Department. 
    • Fireflies-University of Illinois species spotlight
    • Indiana 4-H Beekeeping-Purdue Extension
    • Monarch Lab- The University of Minnesota teaches about butterflies from their life cycle to migration as well as how to care for your own.