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Posts tagged: entomology

Sep 14 2016

BugFest 2016

This Saturday September 17 from 9am-5pm, Special Collections and NCSU Libraries staff will be at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences for BugFest 2016!  Stop by the NCSU Libraries “Ask Us” station on the 3rd floor (near the T-Rex fossil) for origami, stamps, coloring sheets from our digitized collection of Seguy prints, and more activities for the kids.

Our participation in BugFest has evolved from the Special Collections Research Center’s development of collections in entomology, including the Zeno P. Metcalf Research Collection, and the event, “Bug-O-Rama,” in the early 2000s that developed into the BugFest we know and love today. This poster for an early Bug-O-Rama included a creative depiction of the now demolished Harrelson Hall.

Praying mantis climbs over Harrelson Hall, Bug-O-Rama poster circa 2000.

Praying mantis climbs over Harrelson Hall, Bug-O-Rama poster circa 2000.

Enjoy more images related to bugs and entomology at NC State below.  Check out more of our bug-related collections in our digitized collections, find more on our website, and contact us for more information about our rare book and archival collections in entomology.

Woman being chased by people dressed as bugs on the Brickyard, circa 1970.

Woman being chased by people dressed as bugs on the Brickyard, circa 1970.

Beekeeping meeting in Boone, NC, 1953.

Beekeeping meeting in Boone, NC, 1953.

4-H club boy mounting insects in display boxes, circa 1955.

4-H club boy mounting insects in display boxes, circa 1955.

Entomology collection by 4-H students, 1956.

Entomology collection by 4-H students, 1956.

Dec 14 2012

Looking Back on Battling the Boll Weevil

Boll Weevil on a cotton bud

Contributed by Kristi Krueger

The bug above is a boll weevil, an insect that feeds on and lays eggs in the bolls of cotton plants, ruining the fiber.  A document newly available online from the North Carolina State University Entomology Department records reports that by the early 1980s, the bugs had done over $12 billion in damage in the U.S., including North Carolina.  This led to the Boll Weevil Eradication Program, an effort to curb the bugs’ destruction that began in northeast North Carolina and Virginia and grew to cover the rest of North Carolina and South Carolina.  These records were digitized as part of the Cultivating a Revolution digitization project.

This document also provides an explanation of how the program got up and running.  Ridding a large area of a pest takes cooperation.  Farmers passed referendums at different stages of the program to ensure compliance with and funding for the control measures.  It is interesting to note that the initial referendum to bring the rest of North Carolina and South Carolina into the program failed to pass but did so when the issue came to a vote the second time, after a bad year of boll weevils.

The concerted effort paid off.  While boll weevils still exist, they are virtually gone in the state, and have been since the late 1980s.

To get a sense of the impact boll weevils had on cotton farming not long before the eradication program began, watch a 1972 video of an interview between reporter Ray Wilkinson and Tom Richie of Hercules Incorporated, a manufacturer of insecticides.

For more information on the biology of boll weevils and controlling them, there is a presentation available from the NC Cooperative Extension “Cotton Insect Corner,” by Jack Bacheler of the NC State Department of Entomology.

And for more information on the continued efforts to keep the boll weevil from returning to North Carolina, see this resource from the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Dec 06 2012

“The Ugly Bug Ball”: Department of Entomology Records

Contributed by Anne Barrett

While scanning records from the Department of Entomology at NC State for the Cultivating a Revolution digitization project, the lyrics of a song kept coming to mind. Burl Ives, well-known narrator of the 1960s animated film “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” wrote and performed the song “Ugly Bug Ball” in the 1963 Disney film “Summer Magic.” The song is about insect, arachnid and worm-like creatures coming together to an annual “ugly bug ball”. You can hear the song on YouTube here .

So, other than obvious subject matter, how does this song relate to the records of the Department of Entomology? Periodically, the Insect Clinic at NC State would produce reports of entomological specimens collected and processed at the clinic. These reports functioned as a “guest list” of sorts, measuring pests throughout the state — ugly bugs, if you will.

Entomology Notes about the Southern Pine Beetle

For example, this report shows specimens processed in May of 1975. Although the names of these creatures seems innocuous at first glance, upon further inspection it becomes clear that these bugs are quite ugly indeed, weakening and destroying plants they infect. Armyworms, for example, feed in the nighttime hours on succulent greens (stems and leaves) of plants, weakening them. As they exhaust one food supply, they move forward in armies to the next one.  Although armyworms prefer grasses and cereals, they have also been known to feed on vegetable crops.

This report is a summary of findings in detecting certain insects that have economic effects on agriculture in North Carolina. The corn earworm is one of the most destructive insects. It infects many different kinds of plants, but prefers corn. The worms infect both the fruit and the foliage of the corn stalks, leaving holes and other damage.

NC State has an integrated pest management (IPM) program that uses information gleaned from reports like these to develop plans guidelines for controlling these “ugly bugs”.

For more information on these and other insects you see in these reports, go to:

Nov 16 2012

Department of Entomology records now digitized

Contributed by Kristi Krueger

A collection of papers from the NCSU Entomology Department are now available online through the Cultivating a Revolution Project.

Contained in this collection is a folder of copies of letters written mostly during the 1930’s by Zeno Metcalf.  Metcalf was the head of the Department of Zoology and Entomology for almost 40 years, 1912-1950.  He also served as Entomologist to the State Agricultural Experiment Station, and in this position, Metcalf received letters from people around the state with concerns about insects, arachnids, and other critters.

In one letter, Metcalf advises a woman on how to set up an aquarium for her goldfish and treat them for fungus.  It’s pretty interesting to read how one made fish gravel at home eighty years ago.

Let’s hope Mrs. Weatherman cooled the boiled water before adding her fish to the tank!

Other letters include answering questions on frog farming

and on caring for one’s pet pigeons!

To read more of Zeno Metcalf’s cordial replies to the public, click here and to view more of the Department of Entomology Records that are now online, click here.

Sep 13 2012

Special Collections out and about!

Still looking for something to do this weekend?  Come see Special Collections staff and materials out and about in Raleigh!

We will have booths at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences’ annual Bugfest and at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Tailgate this Saturday.

One of E.A. Seguy's Insectes plates

The Bugfest booth will feature digitized materials from our entomology and Seguy collections and activities for the kids to participate in.

Testing a Tobacco Harvester

Our CALS Tailgate booth will feature football programs dating back to the 1950s, historic images of campus, NCSU athletics, CALS, and you can learn about our agriculture digitization project, Cultivating a Revolution.

So stop by and say hi!

We promise we won't be dressed as bugs - just showing off cool pictures of them!