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Davis, California

Saturday, April 20, 2024


Department of entomology hosts annual creepy crawly competition

Things that involve pests are typically not what one associates with fun. Many people squirm at the sight or even the thought of having to be in the presence of a cockroach. Bottomline: cockroaches are not often painted in a positive light. However, each year on Picnic Day they are allowed to shine and show the world just how entertaining they can be, during the annual Cockroach Race.  

Cockroaches from the order Blattodea, have made themselves quite present in Davis. Davis’ forgiving weather has allowed them to flourish and become an increasing topic of concern in recent years. A specific page has even been created to showcase the variety of cockroaches in Davis and how to combat them. This shows how much of a presence they have in and around the Davis community.

For many years, the Entomology Department has hosted the long awaited Cockroach Race. Even though some say they are grossed out by the insect, they can’t help but come back for more. Many Youtube videos spanning over the years illustrate the fun to be had at the race. In a video from 2009, one can hear loud cheering and the laughter of many children and adult participants as they witness this uniquely spectacular event. Through watching these videos one can observe changes that have been made to the racing procedures. In older videos, racing arenas were left unadorned and uncovered while the cockroaches themselves were marked with colorful papers. However, in newer videos, the wooden arenas are colorfully marked in Davis’ yellow and blue colors with covers holding the speedy creatures in, as the racing takes place. Even though it is unclear how this tradition began, it sure is here to stay. Be sure to check out the races and the other creepy cool showings by the Entomology Department this Saturday at Briggs Hall from 9:00 a.m.-5:00p.m., where these crazy crawlies might just have you in for a big surprise.

Written by: Isabella Beristain — features@theaggie.org


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