Franklin Pest Solutions sponsors 2023 Bug Bowl intern


April 18, 2023


Bug Bowl 2023 attendees participating in some of the events. PHOTO: FRANKLIN PEST SOLUTIONS

Franklin Pest Solutions sponsored 20-year-old Purdue University student Kayla Bliven as the 2023 Bug Bowl Intern, which was April 15 at Purdue University.

A love of bugs is what draws people to Bug Bowl each year and Bliven fit the bill. After moving several times as part of a military family, Bliven realized she was fascinated by the insect world that also travels from place to place, season to season.

“I would say right now I’m a huge fan of weevils; I really love how diverse they are and I think their snouts are particularly interesting,” Bliven said in the news release. “Giraffe weevils (Trachelophorus giraffa) are my favorite.”

After spending much of her childhood in Germany, Bliven calls Fort Wayne, Ind., home when she’s not at school.

As an insect biology student finishing up her sophomore year, Bliven’s educational dreams include going onto a master’s program in forensics with the goal of being a forensic entomologist.

“I love the natural clues that regional and seasonal insects can play in solving mysteries,” Bliven said. “Nature is fascinating if you just look close enough.”

This is the second year that Franklin Pest Solutions has sponsored the Bug Bowl intern. Franklin Pest Solutions’ own “Bug Girl,” Janelle Iaccino, says she is excited to see so many young women pursue careers in entomology.

“It is something that I was drawn to at a very young age including keeping a pet tarantula in my locker in high school,” Iaccino said. “Nature is fascinating, and bugs play a role in so many things in our environment. When you look at it that way, they aren’t frightening — they’re riveting.”

Purdue Bug Bowl’s Betty Bee mascot greeted attendees. Studying and protecting honeybees and native pollinators is a priority for Purdue’s Entomology Department and Franklin Pest Solutions.

Bug Bowl started as a cockroach race more than 30 years ago by a Purdue entomology professor. Its serendipitous popularity blossomed after a radio personality mentioned it, drawing more than 100 people to the event.  Now, a live bug zoo, honey tasting and insect art by children are some of the big draws with more than 600 original pieces of insect art being displayed this year. The event is part of the Purdue College of Agriculture Spring Fest.


Curtis Rand, VP of Operations at Rose Pest Solutions, sister company of Franklin; 20-year-old Bug Bowl 2023 intern Kayla Bliven; and Franklin’s Janelle Iaccino, affectionately called The Bug Girl, talked bugs and careers at Purdue University’s Bug Bowl 2023. PHOTO: FRANKLIN PEST SOLUTIONS



Bug art by children line walls throughout Bug Bowl. This whimsical drawing of many bugs, including a few bees, a spider and a dragonfly took third place in the Bug Bowl art contest. PHOTO: FRANKLIN PEST SOLUTIONS



This beetle, scientifically known as Asbolus Verrucosus, but more commonly called a death-feigning beetle is part of the Bug Barn collection of live insects at Bug Bowl 2023. They are known to play dead which is how they got their nickname. They eat all sorts of fruits, vegetables, and dead insects and when not posing for the camera are happy to munch on dried papaya. PHOTO: FRANKLIN PEST SOLUTIONS


About the Author

Ellen Wagner

Ellen Wagner is the digital editor for PMP magazine. She can be reached at

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