Observer & Eccentric
Aug 11, 2011
Written by Karen Smith
Insects aren't icky, and science is sweet.
That's what Rose Pest Solutions hoped to teach 98 Livonia Family YMCA day campers at its 10th annual Bug Rodeo, held Friday at Maybury State Park in Northville.
Some of the day campers were apprehensive about catching insects, watching them up close or letting them crawl on them.
“Some of the girls thought it was gross,” said Steve Hofer, Livonia Family YMCA camp director.
But the thrill of the catch converted a lot of them, said Mark “Shep” Sheperdigian, an entomologist and vice president of technical services for Rose Pest Solutions, based in Troy.
“Within a short period of time they (some of those most apprehensive) were the ones running around with a net doing all the swinging,” Sheperdigian said.
The kids caught a wide variety of insects, including grasshoppers and dragonflies.
One of the counselors caught a cicada killer, a large ground-nesting wasp that feeds on cicadas, paralyzing them with their sting and dragging them down into their burrows.