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University of Kentucky Department of Entomology

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Holiday Humor

An Entomologist's Twelve Days of Christmas

by Stephanie Bailey,
Entomology Extension Specialist

Wouldn't it be a great Christmas if your true love gave you:

  • 12 nets a-sweeping
  • 11 points for pinning
  • 10 hives a-humming
  • 9 black lights trapping
  • 8 Florissant fossils
  • 7 scouts a-sampling
  • 6 pair of forceps
  • 5 field guides
  • 4 spreading boards
  • 3 berlese funnels
  • 2 cornell drawers
  • ...And a bug in a killing jar!


by Stephanie Bailey

If "The Twelve Days of Christmas" seems to be wearing a little thin this year, consider a new rendition:

  • A Japanese beetle on a pear tree.
  • Two turtle bugs
  • three frittilaries
  • four calling cicadas
  • five goldeneye lacewings
  • 6 borers boring
  • 7 stinkbugs smelling
  • 8 bees a buzzing
  • 9 fleas a leaping
  • 10 damsels dancing
  • 11 mantids praying
  • 12 crickets strumming


by Stephanie Bailey

Twas the night before Christmas and throughout the house, 
lots of creatures were stirring, not the least was a mouse
Our stockings were hung by the chimney with care 
We all hoped the roaches would just leave them there.
I tucked in the kids, they were snug in their beds, 
but had visions of lice crawling up on their heads.
Ma in her kerchief and I in my cap, 
had just reset all of our sure-catch mousetraps.
Suddenly, outside quite a racket ensued
But above all that noise I could make out a dude-
He called out strange names such as Dancer and Blitzen
I'd swear I was having acute toxic symptoms!
From the roof we heard sounds of skids, bumps and twirls.
I turned and said, "Dear, we have got MUTANT squirrels!"
The next thing I knew, as I sorted it out,
Some guy in a red suit slid down the rain spout.
"That chimney of yours," he said with a grin,
"is so full of birds I can't even get in.
"I've come to help with your pests that won't die 
Now, don't you worry, I've been certified!"
The man came prepared, I could see from his sack,
His baits, sprays and foam were all poised for attack.
He spoke not a word but with all the right moves, 
Had pest-proofed our home not a minute too soon.
He left us instructions for future distress
Though his awesome skills, I shall never possess.
He shook my hand, then returned to his sleigh,
Checked his reindeer for fleas, then he went on his way.
But I heard him exclaim as they flew out of sight, 
Merry Christmas to all...don't let the bedbugs bite!

Ann Pass' second grade class at Lansdowne Elementary in Lexington, KY, USA came up with the following gifts for a list of insects she gave them.

INSECT                        GIFT
Monarch                       Map
Cucumber beetle               Automatic slicer
Daddy-long-legs               Reeboks
Aphid (sucking insect)        Pacifier
Walkingstick                  Crutches
Fly                           Flyswatter shield
Colorado potato beetle        Trip to Ireland 
Hornet                        Pencil sharpener for stinger
Flea                          New puppy
Honey bee                     Jars for honey
Lightning bug                 Lantern
Ladybird beetle               Spot remover
Praying mantis                New Bible
Katydid                       Tape recorder
Cricket                       Ear muffs (to drown out noise)
Dragonfly                     Flame thrower
Green bottle fly              Ectoplasm
Stink bug                     Deodorant
Fruit fly                     Banana
Tobacco hornworm              French horn
Squash                        Zucchini
Termite                       Lincoln logs
Cockroach                     Garbage can
Bumble bee                    Kazoo
Pillbug                       Pill box
Rove beetle                   Road map
Sap beetle                    Smart pills
Skipper butterfly             Jump rope
Mud dauber                    Trowel
Digger wasp                   Spade
Cigarette beetle              Ash tray
Warble fly                    Song book
Foreign grain beetle          Citizenship papers
Wheel bug                     Spare tire
Armyworm                      Furlough
Diving beetle                 Scuba gear
Measuringworm                 Yardstick
Drone fly                     Singing lessons
Nut weevil                    Nut cracker
Sawtoothed grain beetle       Tooth caps

Last updated: 13 January 1999

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