May 05, 2010

Forest service and Kent House to host "Kent House Bug Day"

The USDA Forest Service and Kent Plantation House invite children of all ages (and their parents) to attend the third annual “Kent House Bug Day” from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on Saturday, May 8. The event will take place at the Kent House, 3601 Bayou Rapides Road in Alexandria. “Kent House Bug Day” is free and open to the public.

“For the third consecutive year, we’re partnering with the Kent Plantation House to offer kids the opportunity to have fun while learning about the beneficial role insects play in maintaining Earth’s ecological health,” said Doug Streett, project leader for the Southern Research Station’s insect research unit in Pineville, La. “We have an exciting line-up of activities for kids to enjoy as they explore the world of insects and see first-hand the benefits and challenges bugs bring to our lives.”

After entering the event, children will be given a “Bug Passport.” Children who get their passports stamped at all eight “bug stations” will receive a special gift. The stations are:
  • Louisiana Insects: See mosquitoes, fire ants and termites, and learn fascinating facts about these pesky pests;
  • Insectivores: See a hedge hog, bearded dragon, toad, bullfrog and salamander – some of which may eat live insects;
  • Night Insects : Visit a dark room with night insect sounds, place your hand inside mystery boxes and guess contents, and view live cave cockroaches with flashlight;
  • Beneficial vs. Pest: Hold live Bess beetles, see insects up close and personal, learn how insects help or harm humans;
  • Honey Bees: Learn about honey bees, hold honeycombs and taste different kinds of honey;
  • Pet Bug: Make your very own bug home and take home a live insect, learn how to care for your bug and how to catch/trap additional insects;
  • Ant Trail: Pretend you’re a leaf-cutting ant and carry a leaf through an obstacle course to reach your nest; and
  • Bug Food: Create ants on a log, pretzel butterflies and other delicious snacks. There will also be a photograph opportunity to have pictures taken with live Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches.
For more information about “Kent House Bug Day,” call the Kent House at 318-487-5998 or the Southern Research Station at 318-473-7242.

The Kent Plantation House is one of the oldest standing structures in the state of Louisiana. Kent House offers tours and special events to visitors who want to see the homestead and working plantation of a successful Creole family typical of 18th Century Louisiana.

Learn more about the Southern Research Station’s Insects, Diseases, and Invasive Plants of Southern Forests research unit, based in Pineville, La., online at:

BY: Alexandria/Pineville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau