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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


BUGmobile: Unique Animals On the Move

Download a transcript of this video (in process)


Do creepy crawly things “bug” you, but you’re still a bit curious about them?!

Our team who operates the BUGmobile on behalf of The Ohio State University Insectary says it’s always a good time to get to know a few of these animals better. You are never too old or young to learn; and this mobile bug zoo, classroom, and laboratory makes it easy to watch the bugs on board, or touch and hold a few of them. Jeni Ruisch, curator of the Insectary, provides some unique insight into these animals who are so important to food and other ecosystems around the world.

We have free fact sheets available on Ohioline to learn more about a variety of insects that are beneficial to humans and crops, as well as some things to think about as you interact with "bugs" out and about at your home, farm, or in your community. The most familiar and seemingly "friendly" are lady beetles, aka ladybugs.

The BUGmobile is the entomology classroom that comes to you. If something gives you the shivers, but you would like to know a bit more about it, maybe it’s time to get to know a few of these “animals” better. When you step on board this mobile bug zoo, classroom and laboratory, you are welcome to just look – or you can touch and hold a few of the animals here, with supervision of course.

The Insectary itself is home to about 150 different species, and numerous animals from the Insectary get "out and about" on the BUGmobile. Tarantulas, cockroaches, scorpions, and pill bugs are just a few of the live insects you can visit on the BUGmobile. There are also pinned and preserved speciments of bees and wasps, to name just a few things you can learn about here.

The BUGmobile has only been on the road since mid-2022, but it has already been spotted at COSI science events, Farm Science Review, and various schools in central Ohio.

Check out this fall 2022 visit at Farm Science Review. 

Jeni Ruisch, BUGmobile operator, director of outreach for the Department of Entomology, and curator of the Insectary at Ohio State, is available to talk bugs anytime and schedule a visit on the BUGmobile or to the Insectary on the Columbus campus.

Connect with us on Instagram @osuentomology, or Facebook @OhioStateEntomology, or check out our new website.

You don't have to wait for a BUGmobile visit to experience insects up close and personal. The Entomology Graduate Student Association (EGSA) at Ohio State is hosting a free Bug Zoo Open House in Wooster on July 8; and they are hosting an Insect Night Walk on Aug. 18. Learn more via this flyer.

The EGSA is a student-led, non-profit organization affiliated with Ohio State's Department of Entomology that focuses on entomology education, outreach, community support, professionalism, and having fun with insects. The association is committed to developing education materials for learning objectives involving entomology, ecology, conservation, exploration, biodiversity, creative thinking and expression.