Today I got an email from a marketing company that was promoting a campaign I was not at all pleased about.

From the email:

NPMA Launches “Show Us Your Scream” Contest

“The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) has launched the “Show Us Your Scream” photo and video contest on its PestWorld Facebook Page, which encourages consumers to submit their best shrieking, shouting, screaming reactions they have when seeing a creepy, crawly pest.”

My response to the email was….not positive. Frankly, this contest seems like it is encouraging people to be fearful about insects, and indirectly promotes excessive pesticide use to kill them, whether or not it is warranted.

The word “phobia” is also used several times in the NPMA press release in a joking context, which belittles the seriousness of a fairly serious anxiety disorder that can affect peoples’ lives.

This contest is a shame, since I know folks at NPMA that are very much in favor of Integrated Pest Management as a philosophy of reducing insecticide use.  They are better than this. I am hoping this contest was just the idea of a marketing person.


I have decided what we need is a SHOW US YOUR SQUEE Contest to counterbalance the screaming fearful one.

How to Enter:
Please make a video showing me your happy reaction to a really COOL insect or arachnid.  Ideally, we can see the insect as well as your reaction in the video, but I suppose someone could submit a video where they get excited about their eyelash mites.

Show me you aren’t afraid to share the planet with….well, the dominant life form, actually.

Post a link to your video here, or make it a response video to mine.
(Note: comments containing links are held for approval on this blog so I can verify they are related to insects, not “enhancement”.)

The winner, as chosen by a completely random and arbitrary process I will invent after a couple of drinks later this evening, will receive their very own PRINT copy of Attracting Native Pollinators, a $30 value!  (If the winner gives me their mailing address, anyway.)

I made a quick video to get you started–I know all of you are far more creative and can do better.

(Warning–I was really excited so the audio is a bit loud.)

Posted by Gwen Pearson

Writer. Nerd. Insect Evangelist. Have you heard the good news? BUGS!


  1. Endless Swarm June 20, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    I’m entering as soon as I can find a jerusalem cricket. Then I shall Die Mightily Of Cute.

  2. Oooo oo! This sounds like fun! We’re not usually squee-ers when we see critters (unless it’s ox beetle grub), but I’m certain we can conjure up SOMETHING for the contest. We’ll go out tomorrow and scare up a nice looking, long-legged beauty to squee over. In the meantime, here’s a sampler of how the dirtnkids clan enjoys insects.

    Scottie with an Imperial moth:

    Angie with a dragonfly high-five’r:

    John with a Luna moth:

    Can’t wait to enter our contest video! Bugs rock it.

  3. hey a bit off topic.. but I rekon you should definitely have this ( in your about thing…! loving the antennae, and the blogging :)

  4. Susan Crick Smith June 20, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    My boys (ages 9 & 5) are budding entomologists. I was explaining to them how you wanted videos showing people that were excited about bugs so that others wouldn’t be scared or freaked out by them. They decided that they wanted to make their own videos. We did two this evening in the backyard, they are uploaded at They didn’t quite get the concept of “screee” but had fun in their own way.

  5. Heres a video of my nearly 3 year old, with a large beetle (I have no idea what it is really, just a guess, I think it might be a diving beetle of some kind we found in the woods at my moms place but it was of good size). We make little videos for my husband when he can’t make it up with us, and this is one we made a few weeks back. She called it a “stink beetle” because of the stinky smell it made in her holding container. We let it go back in the woods after we were done looking at it. I think the video link works, I don’t know i’m not very good at embedding things.

  6. Here is ours from the back porch this evening. Score!

  7. […] of BugGirl’s blog yesterday, the kids have been looking for interesting bugs to video for her SQUEE! Contest post of […]

  8. These are wonderful! Thank you Shannon.

  9. I can’t wait to see some of the others. This was certainly a fun summer exercise for the kiddos. I’ve very much enjoyed discovering your blog and seeing the video of you with the blue hair and antennae. Adorable.

    I’ve been working on a mosquito piece last month or so, hoping to finish it next week. I will probably link to a couple of your articles, if you don’t mind.

  10. Please, link away! I am always happy when people find things useful (or at least worth a discussion).

  11. I caught this Northern Walking Stick on my deck screen door and then recorded his escape. Amazing how they hide.

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