Let's Have a Picnic!

Apr 11, 2016

What's a picnic without bugs?

Bugs may be uninvited guests at your family picnic, but at the campuswide UC Davis Picnic Day, set Saturday, April 16, bugs are not only invited, but more than welcome. And so are you, your family and friends. In fact, thousands will be attending the 102nd annual celebration, themed "Cultivating Your Authenticity."

The UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology is among the departments participating, with activities at Briggs Hall on Kleiber Hall Drive from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and an open house at the Bohart Museum of Entomology, located in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building on Crocker Lane, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Briggs Hall will be the site of a pollination pavillion, maggot art, cockroach races, fly-tying, face-painting,  honey tasting, and a bee observation hive, and displays about ants, mosquitoes, aquatic insects and forest insects. The Bug Doctor booth ("The Doctor Is in") will be staffed by faculty and graduate students,  while UC Davis forensic entomologist Robert Kimsey, aka "The Fly Man of Alcatraz," will man the Dr. Death table.

The UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program (UC IPM) will give away lady beetles, aka ladybugs, to kids to take home to their gardens. Lady beetles are beneficial insects and will make short work of your aphids. UC IPM also will provide advice on how to manage home and garden pests with environmentally sound methods. 

At the pollinator pavilion, you can get up close and personal with butterflies, bees and other pollinators and learn how to protect our pollinators.

At the maggot art table, youths are invited to dip maggots into water-soluble paint and coax them to "create art" on a piece of white paper. Voila! Suitable for framing. And what a great conversation piece!

At the cockroach races, you are invited to cheer for your favorite roach. Everyone has a favorite roach, don't they?

You can also purchase a popular insect-themed t-shirt from the Entomology Graduate Student Association. Think beetles, bees, and wanna-bees.

Mosquitoes? They're invited, too. The Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District will provide an educational exhibit about mosquito abatement.

Another popular exhibit at Briggs Hall is fly-tying by the Fly Fishers of Davis. They'll show you how to tie a fly.

At the Bohart Museum, the focus will be on "real insects as mimics." You'll see flies that look like bees--and bees that look like flies. In addition, you can hold and photograph the critters in the live "petting zoo," including Madagascar hissing cockroaches, walking sticks, and rose-haired tarantulas. The gift shop, featuring t-shirts, books, posters, insect collecting equipment, will be open.

All in all, it promises to be a picnic that will "bug ya." That's the plan!