Bohart Museum Open House: Learn About Mosquitoes, Ticks, Bed Bugs, Lice, and Fleas

You won't want to miss the Bohart Museum of Entomology open house on "Household Vampires," targeting mosquitoes, ticks, bed bugs, lice and fleas.

The open house set from 1 to 4 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 23 in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building, 455 Crocker Lane, UC Davis. It's free and family friendly and parking is also free. It's an opportunity for attendees to learn more about the "nuisance insects," and ask questions.

The line-up, as of today:

  • Lynn and Bob Kimsey of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology faculty. Lynn, a hymenopterist, is a UC Davis distinguished professor who teaches general entomology and the biodiversity of California insects and serves as the director of the Bohart Museum, and Bob is a forensic entomologist, specializing in public health entomology; arthropods of medical importance; zoonotic disease; biology and ecology of tick-borne pathogens; tick feeding behavior and biochemistry.

  • Carla-Cristina "CC" Melo Edwards, a first-year doctoral student in the laboratory of medical entomologist-geneticist Geoffrey Attardo, associate professor of entomology, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology. She will share her expertise on mosquitoes and show specimens.
  • Moriah Garrison, senior entomologist and research coordinator with Carroll-Loye Biological Research (CLBR). She is scheduled to show live ticks and mosquitoes and field questions. 

  • Educators from the Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District. They will discuss mosquitoes and  their program

  • Nazzy Pakpour, UC Davis alumna, Novozymes scientist and author of Please Don't Bite Me 

  • Jeff Smith, curator of the Bohart Museum's ;Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) collection. He will display butterfly specimens collected globally. Also on the "Lep crew" are Bohart volunteers Greg Kareofelas and Brittany Kohler.  

Pacific coast ticks, Dermacentor occidentalis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Professor Attardo, who maintains a lab website on Vector Biology and Reproductive Biology at, and chairs the Designated Emphasis in the Biology of Vector-Borne Diseases (DEBVBD), will display some of his mosquito images, including a blood-fed Aedes aegypti, and a female and male Culex tarsalisAlex Wild,  a UC Davis doctoral alumnus and curator of entomology, University of Texas, Austin, will display an image of mosquito larvae that currently hangs in Briggs Hall, home of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology. Wild's insect images can be viewed on his website,

Petting Zoo. A popular attraction is the live petting zoo; visitors are encouraged to hold or get acquainted with live Madagascar hissing cockroaches and stick insects

Family Arts and Crafts Activity. The event will be held outside and will highlight two collecting techniques, said Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator. 

  1. Clear Packing Tape Art. "Clear packing tape is a good way to collect small, hard-to-see insects," Yang said. "Glitter will mimic small insects like fleas or bed bugs. Putting the tape on white paper makes it easy to look at them under a microscope and for this craft it will make a pretty card."
  2. Making insect collecting or "kill" jars. Participants are asked to bring a recycled jar. "This should be a clean and dried glass jar with a wide, metal top--think jam, pickle, peanut butter jars. Four to 16-ounce jars work well. We will have some on hand as well, but recycling is good! We will fill the bottom with plaster of paris and let it dry and teach people how to use it properly, using something like nail polisher remover containing ethyl acetate as the killing agent. A UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology video explains the procedure:
First-year UC Davis students and transfer students,  now on campus, are expected to attend.
The Bohart Museum houses a global collection of eight million insect specimens. It also maintains an insect-themed gift shop stocked with books, posters, T-shirts, hooded sweatshirts and jewelry.