Bohart Museum Open House: What You Should Know About Mosquitoes

If you've been following the breaking news about the invasive mosquito, Aedes aegypti, detected recently in Yolo, Solano and Sacramento counties--you can learn more about these disease-carrying mosquitoes at the Bohart Museum of Entomology open house on Saturday afternoon, Sept. 23.

The open house takes place from 1 to 4 p.m. in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building, 455 Crocker Lane, UC Davis campus. The theme: "Household Vampires." The event will zero in on mosquitoes, fleas, ticks, lice and bedbugs. Scientists will be there to answer questions. The event is free and family friendly and parking is also free.

Who's talking about mosquitoes?

  • Educators from the Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District. See
  • Carla-Cristina "CC" Melo Edwards, a first-year doctoral student in the laboratory of medical entomologist-geneticist Geoffrey Attardo, associate professor of entomology, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology. She will share her expertise on mosquitoes and show specimens.
  • Moriah Garrison, senior entomologist and research coordinator with Carroll-Loye Biological Research (CLBR). She is scheduled to show live ticks and mosquitoes and field questions. 
  • Nazzy Pakpour, UC Davis alumna, Novozymes scientist and author of Please Don't Bite Me 

Professor Attardo, who maintains a lab website on Vector Biology and Reproductive Biology at, and chairs the Designated Emphasis in the Biology of Vector-Borne Diseases, will display some of his mosquito images, including a blood-fed Aedes aegypti, and a female and male Culex tarsalis. (A prior commitment prevents him from being at the open house the entire time.) One or more images by Alex Wild,  a UC Davis doctoral alumnus and curator of entomology, University of Texas, Austin, also will be featured.

Breaking news? The Aedes aegypti mosquito, which can transmit such diseases as Zika, yellow fever, dengue, chikungunya and others, was detected Sept. 11 in Dixon. "The mosquito may be active around dusk and dawn but bites most often during the day and often bites indoors," said Richard Snyder, Solano County Mosquito Abatement District manager, in a news release.

The Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito Vector Control District recently announced two fatalities in Sacramento and Yolo counties due to West Nile virus. "In addition to these deaths, currently there are 10 other human cases in Sacramento County and 8 in Yolo County.  Since there won't be a significant decline in mosquito populations until mid-October, more human cases will likely be reported."

UC Davis distinguished professor Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum and UC Davis forensic entomologist Robert Kimsey will be among the presenters on other "household vampires." 

Attendees can see the Bohart's butterfly collection, curated by entomologist Jeff Smith, and get acquainted with critters in the live insect petting zoo.

The family arts and crafts activity will feature collecting activities. Participants are asked to bring a recycled jar. "This should be a clean and dried glass jar with a wide, metal top--think jam, pickle, peanut butter jars. Four to 16-ounce jars work well," said Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator. "We will have some on hand as well, but recycling is good! We will fill the bottom with plaster of paris and let it dry and teach people how to use it properly, using something like nail polisher remover containing ethyl acetate as the killing agent. A UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology video explains the procedure:

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