A love of bugs is what draws people to Bug Bowl each year and Bliven fits the bill. After a peripatetic childhood as a military daughter, Bliven realized she was fascinated by the insect world that also travels from place to place, season to season. “I would say right now I’m a huge fan of weevils; I really love how diverse they are and I think their snouts are particularly interesting,” she said. “Giraffe weevils are my favorite.” After spending much of her childhood in Germany, Bliven calls Fort Wayne home when she’s not at school.
As an Insect Biology student finishing up her sophomore year, Bliven’s educational dreams include going onto a Master’s program in Forensics with the goal of being a Forensic Entomologist. “I love the natural clues that regional and seasonal insects can play in solving mysteries,” she said. “Nature is fascinating if you just look close enough.”
This is the 2nd year that Franklin has sponsored the Bug Bowl intern. Franklin’s cherished Bug Girl, Janelle Iaccino is excited to see so many young women pursue careers in entomology. “It is something that I was drawn to at a very young age including keeping a pet tarantula in my locker in high school,” she said. “Nature is fascinating, and bugs play a role in so many things in our environment. When you look at it that way, they aren’t frightening — they’re riveting.”
Purdue Bug Bowl’s Betty Bee mascot will also be on hand, greeting attendees. Studying and protecting honeybees and native pollinators is a priority for Purdue’s Entomology Department and Franklin.
Bug Bowl started as a cockroach race more than 30 years ago by a Purdue entomology professor. Its serendipitous popularity blossomed after a radio personality mentioned it, drawing more than 100 people to the event. Now, a live bug zoo, honey tasting and insect art by children are some of the big draws with more than 600 original pieces of insect art being displayed this year. The event is part of the Purdue College of Agriculture Spring Fest https://ag.purdue.edu/springfest/ taking place Saturday, April 15, 2023.
About Franklin Pest Solutions, LLC
Since 1929, Franklin Pest Solutions and sister company Rose Pest Solutions have been trusted in the Midwest to keep homes and businesses free from insects, rodents, and more. Using cutting-edge technology, environmentally friendly methods, and personalized unique solutions, Franklin and Rose are dedicated to creating and maintaining healthier living environments. Owned by the Dold Family, Franklin Pest Solutions proudly serves communities in Indiana and Kentucky, and Rose Pest Solutions proudly serves all of Chicagoland, the Greater Milwaukee area, and South Central Wisconsin. For more information, see www.franklinpestsolutions.com and www.rosepestcontrol.com.