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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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EPPWS department will bring insects, information to the state fair

New Mexico State University's Entomology, Plant Pathology and Weed Science Department will have a multidisciplinary display at the Southern New Mexico State Fair and Rodeo, beginning Oct. 3.

Bird eating spiders.
Heraphosidae or bird-eating spider of Peru on display at New Mexico State University's Arthropod Museum. (submitted photo)

"The exhibit will be manned for visits by school classes on Wednesday morning," said Carol Sutherland, entomologist in NMSU's Department of Extension Plant Sciences. "Teachers coming by our display will receive a bag of educational and fun materials to share with their students as they discuss agriculture in their classes."

The interactive display will feature 20 drawers of real insects and their relatives, some native to New Mexico and other exotic species.

On the other side of the Quonset hut, a variety of posters will provide visitors with basic information on common and harmful weeds.

"Other posters deal with fungi, bacteria and other microorganisms, some of which are beneficial while others cause various disorders," Sutherland added.

Alvaro Romero, professor of entomology, will have live insect cultures at the Quonset hut.

"We will show how we rear bed bugs under laboratory conditions without using animals or human subjects," Romero explained. "Many people will have the chance to see for the first time live bed bugs and see, in real time, the setup we have for artificially feeding blood to bed bugs."

Along with that, Romero will have a cockroach display and a question and answer session.

"The exhibit will be up for the duration of the fair. It can be educational for all ages," Sutherland said.