University of Kentucky College of Agriculture

4-H Logo4-H Entomology



Working on a 4-H Entomology project is the best way to learn about insects in Kentucky. Use the guides and documents below to start building an insect collection today!


St. Fair Insect Collection Guide: contains the information needed to assemble an insect collection for competition at the County and St. Fair level. Includes: where to look for insects, how to pin and label insects, and tips for displaying collections. This document compiles and supplements the insect collection guidelines that previously appeared in 4-H Entomology Project: Unit 1 (Pub. 4DC-01PA) and 4-H Entomology Project: Unit 2 (Pub. 4DC-02PA).


Kentucky 4-H Insect Order Key: use this guide to identify insects to the correct scientific order. This document is adapted from and replaces A Key to Insect Orders (Pub. 4DC-04SO).


4-H Label Cards: download both of these PDF format cards and print them onto card stock to make official St. Fair labels for insect collections.
Card 1  |  Card 2


Identification: visit the Kentucky Critter Files for pictures and information about many of the insects that you might find while collecting for your 4-H insect collection.



For 4-H Agents, Program Assistants, and Volunteer Leaders


Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Survey: The Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) has arrived in southeastern Kentucky and is threatening our hemlock trees. You and your 4-Hers can help monitor HWA by finding hemlock trees and sending us the location on survey forms (below) designed by UK Entomology and Forestry. If you have access to GPS units you can send us coordinates, or you can send us approximate location (such as street address). 4-Hers can also inspect the trees for HWA infestation. This would be a great way to get 4-Hers involved in a real scientific survey and to introduce them to the concept of invasive species. We can also come and introduce the project to your 4-Hers.


Contact Blake Newton (, 859-257-7453) for more details and materials.


Official St. Fair Rule Sheet: download and review the official 4-H insect collection rule sheet that is used in the St. Fair Catalog. This is for Lot 6026, Classes 687-691, 1st-5th year insect collections.


Official St. Fair Score Sheets: download and review the score sheets that we use to judge 4-H insect collections at St. Fair. These can help you to judge county collections and work with youth who want to improve their collections.


Supplies for 4-H Insect Collections: we sell (at cost) pins and boxes that may be used for 4-H insect collections. Pins are $2 (box of 100), insect boxes are $5. A single insect box can hold approximately 25-40 insects.
  • To order pins and boxes, contact:
  • Darlene Thorpe
  • S-225 Ag. Science North
  • Lexington, KY 40546-0091
  • (859) 257-5955


4-H Entomology Curriculum Guide: This guide was developed in 2004 as a part of the new Kentucky 4-H Natural Resource Curriculum. It aligns popular activities from well-known activity books (like Project WET, Project Learning Tree, and the 4H CCS entomology unit books) with KERA core content. The topic: "How Does The Environment in Kentucky Affect The Insects (and Related Arthropods) That Live There?"


4-H Cooperative Curriculum System Publications: Insectiganza Series
  • Entomology - Group Activity Helper's Guide
  • Entomology 1 - Creepy Crawlies
  • Entomology 2 - What's Bugging You?
  • Entomology 3 - Dragons, Houses and Other Flies


These project books replace the former Kentucky 4-H entomology units (see below). They were designed by entomologists, educators, and 4-H specialists from around the U.S., and provide a good introduction to insects and their relatives for young people in grades K-6. Several of the activities in this series are aligned to Kentucky core-content and program-of-studies in the 4-H Entomology curriculum guide (listed above). Contact the State 4-H office to order these publications. Read more about these publications at: 4-H CCS - Insectiganza


Kentucky 4-H Entomology Unit Books: While these "classic" Kentucky 4-H Entomology Project books and leader's guide (Pubs. 4DC-01PA, 4DC-02PA, 4DC-03PA, and 4DC-#1LA) are no longer in print, they remain a valuable source for ideas and supplemental information. Contact us for photocopies of these books, or visit the online versions (in HTML and PDF format) and make as many copies as you need for your county programs:


4-H Entomology Leader Training: If your county office wants to learn more about 4-H Entomology, contact us for training opportunities. We can come to your county and work with agents and assisstants one-on-one or in small groups to develop essential entomology skills, such as: finding and collecting insects, insect identification, and making a St. Fair entomology project. A great first-step is to have an example St. Fair collection for your office, and we can help you create one. We can also help you develop entomology curricula and activities.



Blake Newton, 4-H Entomology Specialist
859.257.7453 |
Department of Entomology
S-225 Agricultural Science Center North
University of Kentucky
Lexington, KY USA 40546-0091