What Happened at Bug Fest?

On August 11 and 12, 2018, the Academy’s annual celebration of insects drew nearly 3,000 visitors for roach races, bug walks and so much more. Attendees talked with real scientists on topics ranging from the invasive spotted lanternfly to whether tarantula venom will cause an allergic reaction (it depends!). Read on for five highlights from the weekend, and be sure to check our social media for even more exciting shots from the day.

1. Real Science

Academy scientists and experts from the American Entomological Society answered bug questions, shared current research and conducted bug walks in Logan Square.

Scientist shows chart to visitors at Bug Fest

entomologist Isa Betancourt with guests at Bug Fest

scientist outside with group of adults and children at Bug Fest

2. Real Bugs

Visitors got to see some of the finest specimens in the Academy’s Entomology Collection, plus live bugs not normally on display in the museum.

Mom and child looking at real bug specimens at the academy of natural sciences

Scorpions under black light


3. Roach Races

The Roach Race Grand Prix is one of the most popular activities at Bug Fest. This year staff called super-fans up onstage to root for their favorite inverts.

Roach race at Bug Fest. Educators on stage, bugs on big screen

Roach Race at Bug Fest. Kids and educators onstage

4. The Bug Ball

At the Bug Ball, visitors made crafts, got their faces painted and mingled with Eddie the T. rex!

The Bug Ball at Bug Fest at the Academy of Natural Sciences

Eddie the T. Rex enjoys the Bug Ball at the Academy of Natural Sciences

5. Our Partners

Shane Confectionery was on-site all weekend with prepared bug candy, and they demonstrated how to make candy with an unexpected ingredient: edible inverts!

Candy With a Crunch by shane confectionery

Visitors also enjoyed bedbug-sniffing dog demonstrations by our sponsor Western Pest Services! We thank them for their support of Bug Fest!

Bed bug sniffing dog demo with Western Pest. Man with small brown dog

Thank you to all who joined us for Bug Fest Weekend, 2018! We had so much fun. We’ll see you again next year!

One comment

  1. The Logan Square Bug Walk was fascinating. The value of that experience went far beyond even the full price of admission. It made us think differently about the city around us and the spaces we maintain at home. Thanks to John Gelhaus for an excellent tour.

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