what career would involve working with insects?

I am fascinated by insects, and have no idea what I could do as a living working with them, any suggestions?

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  • 9 years ago
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    I'm in school for an entomology degree. I'm sure you've already figured out that that is the study of insects.

    You could work in a museum, like Tobias said. There are a ton of options. There are people here who study the mosquito population around Idaho, and there was a huge rise in that job market for entomologists when the West Nile Virus popped up.

    I know a man who collects butterflies and sells them online, to museums, to universities, etc.

    There are a ton of people everywhere who monitor the population of one to many species in a specific area. I really want to do field work, so I want to be out there catching the bugs and what not. If you're REALLY lucky, you'll get to travel to some tropical region that is TEAMING with diversity, and you may discover a new species.

    Mike Rowe did a Dirty Jobs show with a few people who collect dung beetles, other raised flies, and some collected spiders (araneology).

    Now, the tough part is, finding a school that actually has an entomology degree, the one I'm at doesn't, so I'm in zoology, but that's what I'm transferring for.

    You might be interest in the life of Edward O. Wilson. He studied ants, discovered how they communicate, he discovered a new species at the age of thirteen. It might be interesting for you to read about how he found his entomology profession in life. He started out much like you and me, not knowing where to go with this huge interest in insects. If you're lucky, you could mail him a letter and he might answer, that's always fun. :)

    To get you started, here are some sites that I found quite handy:

    http://www.compleatnaturalist.com/Catalog_Category...

    (( That one has the pins that you'll need to pin bugs, along with other materials. ))

    http://www.ehow.com/how_4798564_insect-display-cas...

    (( For insect display boxes, you'll need a lot of them eventually. ))

    http://bohart.ucdavis.edu/resources_howtocollect.a...

    http://bughunter.tamu.edu/killingspecimens.htm

    http://www.thefind.com/pets/info-dram-clear-glass-...

    (( I couldn't find the website that I used, but these work too, look for cheap ones, google "small glass vials" and you'll get a bunch of things ))

    Now, I have a little ethyl acetate left over from my entomology class, but since I don't have a lisence, I won't be able to depend on that for long. Ethyle acetate and ethyl alcohol is what's in Nail Polish remover, and Rubbing alcohol. So You can use both of those. The nail polish remove goes inside your killing jar with a half inch of plaster of paris in the bottom of it, that will absorb the liquid, but leave the fumes, which will suffocate the insects (sad, it's hard for me to do). And the rubbing alcohol you can use on tiny insects (I mean tiny!) and aquatic insects, since they can't breathe in the alcohol, it'll also preserve them in the little jar. I use tiny jars to put the rubbing alcohol in and then you just leave the insects in there. You can switch them out.

    When you label your specimens, make sure you put the location of the bug, county etc, the date that you found it, and "Coll. Your name" that means Collector: You. You don't put the kind of bug that you found on the label, because taxonomy can always change, but the location never will. You'll put separate labels with family names and orders etc, above the bugs in your display cases.

    I'm sorry for typing so much ._. I hope it helps though. OH, This is the book that we use all the time in our entomology class.

    Daly, H. V., J. T. Doyen, and A. H. Purcell III. 1998. Introduction to Insect Biology and

    Diversity. New York: Oxford University Press.

    It's handy, mostly because it'll teach you the parts of the insect, and then towards the back, it has step by step guides on how to identify a lot of them, but you need to know the parts of the insect, because it'll have things like "The base of the antennae is proximal to the frons of the insect. Go to 16." Stuff like that. XD But it's fun once you get the hang of it.

    If you send me a message, I could also email you my entomology notes, I was so stoked about this class that I sacrifices studying for other classes, just to make an awesome 17 page study guide for my entomology final. Ohhh I'm a nerd. XD

    I hope it helps, bye!

    Source(s): Biologist / zoologist
  • Tobias
    Lv 5
    9 years ago

    The options that come to mind are work at a museum, but that would be largely with dead, preserved bugs. You could go to college/university and grad school for zoology and entomology and get work at a zoo. There's always field work to be done, too; new species to discover and existing ones to better understand.

    Search colleges and universities for programs that sound like what you'd most like to do.

  • 9 years ago

    entomologist

  • 9 years ago

    exterminator

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