Insectropolis – Toms River, New Jersey - Atlas Obscura
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Toms River, New Jersey

Insectropolis

A "Bugseum" dedicated to all things insect-related, tucked behind a pest control company. 

Lovingly known as the “Bugseum of New Jersey,” Insectropolis is designed to enlighten visitors about the crucial role these creepy crawlers play in the natural ecosystem. The museum guides visitors through what it calls a “bug-themed city,” complete with thousands of specimens from all reaches of the globe, and live insects that can be observed doing what they do best.

Insectropolis aims to illuminate the world of bugs by upending the misconceptions and aversions held against insects with fun facts about their anatomy, practices, and habitats. Begin your visit at the Bug University, where you’ll get a rundown of the basics—how bugs are identified and classified—before moving on to the specifics of their anatomy and how they eat, communicate, interact, and protect themselves from predators.

From there, crawl like a termite through the Mud Tube, and take a gander at the complex society of the honey bee from the Hive Airport. As you make your way through the space, knowledgeable staff will tempt you to touch tarantulas and scorpions with care. 

Insectropolis also provides a cultural context to these ancient creatures, with tales of the revered scarab beetle in Egypt, butterfly folklore of Native American peoples, and Chinese cricket fights. The museum doesn’t shy away from the dangerous side of bugs though, such as how they spread disease among humans. The exhibit comes to a close with informative flyers about the West Nile Virus, and offers for a free termite inspection.

Know Before You Go

Insectropolis is located behind Ozane Pest Control. The museum is open from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Admission is $10 for all visitors except for children under 2 years of age. Insectropolis additionally hosts a program of special events, including art shows relating to insect themes, cockroach naming for Valentine’s Day, gardening gatherings, and more. 

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