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4-H Entomology Manual

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Publication Number: P2297
View as PDF: P2297.pdf
4-H Entomology Manual cover

As a 4-H member there are a lot of different projects you may consider. Why pick entomology? If you try it, you will soon find out there are many good reasons.

Entomology (en-teh-moll'-o-gee') is the study of insects, and insects are everywhere. They are, by far, the most numerous and diverse kinds of animals. For example, there are more kinds (species) of weevils— just one kind of beetle—than there are different kinds of birds, fish, mammals, amphibians, and reptiles found in the world. 

It shouldn’t be hard to find material for your project. Insects occur in almost every environment—all around your yard, in fields, streams and ponds, and even in your home. 

Despite their small size, insects are very interesting. If you have a chance to observe them closely, both their appearance and their habits may well fascinate you. No made-up, blockbuster Hollywood movie has ever truly come close to how amazing insects can be in everyday life. 

The pest insects come to mind first, i.e., those that eat our crops, bite us or otherwise distress us. Combined, insects cause billions of dollars of damage in the United States every year, and they can be even more important in warmer, tropical areas. However, insects also are invaluable to our well-being. They help to pollinate plants, many of which are totally dependent on insects for their survival. Insects have also been in the recycling business for millions of years. They feed on dead plants and animals, and this activity releases nutrients for the growth of new plants. Most fish, many birds, and other animals dine primarily on insects. Insects do a pretty good job of keeping most of the pest insects in line, feeding on them as important biological controls. 

Download the PDF above to learn more about 4-H Entomology.

Department: Ctr 4-H Youth Development
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Portrait of Dr. Blake Layton, Jr.
Extension Professor
Entomology; extension insect identification; fire ants; termites; insect pests in the home, lawn and
Associate Extension Professor
Associate Extension Specialist 4-H Director of Ext. Arthropod Zoo and MSU's BugFest Entomology &

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