An 'Invasion' of Household Vampires at the Bohart Museum of Entomology

They saw mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, lice and bed bugs at the Bohart Museum of Entomology open house on "Household Vampires."

They learned that "medical entomologist is the study of arthropods (such as insects and ticks) that spread pathogens that cause human disease. It is also important to study insects and arthropods that spread diseases to other animals! This field o study is called veterinary entomology. Some diseases affect both humans and animals. This is called a zoonotic disease." (from Bohart Museum poster)

They asked questions. They observed "the vampires" through microscopes. And they left with first-hand information.

The presenters included:

  • Robert "Bob" Kimsey, forensic entomologist, Department of Entomology and Nematology, who answered questions about medical entomology.

  • Luz Maria Robles, public information officer, Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District, who discussed and displayed mosquitoes and how to keep yourself safe. See

  • Carla-Cristina "CC" Melo Edwards, doctoral student and mosquito researcher in the laboratory of medical entomologist-geneticist Geoffrey Attardo, associate professor of entomology, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, who fielded questions about mosquitoes. Attardo displayed enlarged images of mosquitoes, including a blood-fed Aedes aegypti, and a female and male Culex tarsalis. 

  • Moriah Garrison, senior entomologist and research coordinator with Carroll-Loye Biological Research (CLBR), (owned by doctoral scientists Scott Carroll and Jenella Loye, affiliated with the Department of Entomology and Nematology), displayed live ticks and mosquitoes. 

  • Nazzy Pakpour, UC Davis alumna, Novozymes scientist and author, displayed her newly published children's book, Please Don't Bite Me 

For the occasion, UC Davis alumnus Kevin Murakoshi, gifted the Bohart Museum a trio of origami sculptures: a tick, an engorged tick and a bedbug. At an earlier open house, he presented the museum with origami sculptures of praying mantises. "They're beautiful," said UC Davis distinguished professor Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum. "We're going to display them in our hallway."

The museum houses a global collection of eight million insect specimens, plus a live insect petting zoo (including Madasgascar hissing cockroaches and walking sticks), and a gift shop. It is located in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building, 455 Crocker Lane. UC Davis.

The next open house, themed "Monarchs," is set for Saturday, Nov. 4 from 1 to 4 p.m.  All open houses are free and family friendly and include a family arts-and-crafts activity.  For more information, contact the Bohart Museum at or telephone (530-752-0493.

(Part 2 of the open house will be published Friday, Sept. 29)