Franklin Pest Solutions sponsors 2024 Bug Bowl intern


April 11, 2024


Colleen Murphy helps put up kids bug art in preparation for the Bug Bowl on April 13. PHOTO: FRANKLIN PEST SOLUTIONS

Franklin Pest Solutions will sponsor the Bug Bowl intern for the third year in a row.

The 2024 intern is Colleen Murphy, a 21-year-old junior majoring in insect biology at Purdue University. Her childhood in Salem, Ind., provided for many summers full of bug collection in nearby fields, waterways and forests.

“I love bugs because they are all around us, are colorful and interesting to learn about,” Murphy said in the news release. “I am currently working as a curational assistant in the Purdue Entomological Research Collection so I get to interact with and study bugs all the time,” she said.

“Our partnership with Bug Bowl is a highlight each year,” Janelle Iaccino, Franklin’s bug expert known as The Bug Girl said. “We love sponsoring the interns at Bug Bowl. It’s so great to be a part of the communities we serve and to foster young women in STEM.”

More than 600 original drawings of bugs will hang from the walls at Bug Bowl where visitors will get to taste honey, participate in an array of vibrant interactive activities for the entire family, pet bugs at a live bug zoo, visit the Cockroach Colosseum and become familiar with their favorite insects. Murphy’s favorite is the weevil “because this beetle comes in many different colors and has a very cute snout,” she said.


Judges look at the 600 drawings that are submitted to Bug Bowl each year by school children from around the area. PHOTO: FRANKLIN PEST SOLUTIONS

Like Iaccino, who had a pet tarantula she kept in her locker in high school, Murphy’s love of bugs started early. She enjoyed collecting insects every summer for 4-H and completed the insect collection project almost every year of her 10 years with 4-H.

“One year, I helped raise monarch butterfly eggs/caterpillars I found on milkweed around my house,” Murphy said. “That was an interesting experience since I was able to observe the monarch butterfly lifecycle. The caterpillars were very cute, and the adult butterflies were beautiful. That is one of the most memorable experiences I’ve had with insects.”

Purdue Bug Bowl’s Betty Bee mascot will also be greeting attendees. Studying and protecting honeybees and native pollinators is a priority for Purdue’s Entomology Department and for Franklin.

Bug Bowl started as a cockroach race more than 30 years ago by a Purdue University entomology professor. Its popularity bloomed after a radio personality mentioned it, drawing more than 100 people to the event.

The event is part of the Purdue College of Agriculture Spring Fest taking place April 13.


About the Author

Ellen Wagner is a former digital editor for PMP magazine.

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