Children at the Candy Cane Daycare Center were turned into insect investigators last week as a group of Ellis County Master Gardeners were on hand to discuss the pros and cons of bugs.

Maureen Nitkowski addressed the children, ranging from first through fourth grade about the kinds of insects found in the area as well as the benefits and pest factor to each bug.

Hands were waving all across the room as Nitkowski asked the group which of them felt bugs were ‘icky’ and of no benefit to them but some thought otherwise.

The group was divided on what the possible benefits of insects could be but were able to get a closer look at the display material the Master Gardener group brought with them.

The children learned the difference between getting a bite from a mosquito and that of a bee and why one is merely itchy while the other stings, leading to many impromptu discussions of bites and escapades that the children had been involved with.

The group also took turns learning the many different parts of an insect and pointing them out on the displays provided.

At the end of the discussion, the children were broken up into groups and assembled an insect of their own, (complete with unique names) based on what they had learned about from the discussion.

Mimi DeLoach, a member of the Master Gardeners group said she thought the discussion was very successful.

“I think the group participation was great. The kids asked lots of questions and participated in the discussion by answering questions and sharing stories. I think they had a great time and I know we did as well. Our group is very interested in education at any age and welcomes opportunities like this to share information,” she said.

Helping DeLoach and Nitkowski with the presentation and discussion were Master Gardener group members; Walt Friis, Wanda Ekelberger, Kay Conant and Dan Smith.

For more information on the Master Gardeners group or to inquire about an upcoming presentation, contact the group at 972-825-5175.