Insects on display.

Insectropolis

Field review by the editors.

Toms River, New Jersey

Calling itself an "insect learning center" and "the bugseum of New Jersey," this insect-themed attraction is one of several that have been opened by exterminating companies across the country. Although less homespun than cross-river rival Insectarium, this one has the best art design of all. Hand-painted murals of giant bugs fill the walls, and professional-caliber big bug models enliven many of the exhibits, for the scrutiny of the studious or just to gross out potential extermination customers.

Furry mud tunnels.

Mostly this is a place for kids, with a furry crawl-through "Mud Tube" that allows them to be a termite, and insects assigned categories such as "Six-Armed Bandits," and "Top Cops." "Mass Murderers" are oversized models of a fly, mosquito, and tick -- which have transmitted diseases fatal to humans -- and are displayed in "solitary confinement" within fake cages.

Older bug enthusiasts can enjoy the indoor glass-sided beehive, and case after case of beetles, moths, and butterflies impaled on pins. A wall-mounted display of giant insect heads is simply titled "Mouthparts." One case, filled with thousands of black rubber cockroaches, illustrates insect fertility.

"Live Touching Stations" scattered throughout allow you handle non-deadly furry spiders and scorpions; handy-wipes are provided, although it isn't clear if they're for the benefit of you or the bug.

State Prison for Mass Murderer bugs.

At the end of the attraction, a table of handouts warn of the perils of West Nile Virus and invite you to sign up for a free termite inspection.

Insectropolis

Ozane Pest Control

Address:
1761 Lakewood Rd, Toms River, NJ
Directions:
Garden State Pkwy south to exit 88, west on Hwy 70 to Hwy 9, south to Insectropolis about two miles on left. The museum is in its own building behind Ozane Pest Control.
Hours:
Tu-Sa 10 am - 3 pm. (Call to verify)
Phone:
732-349-7090
Admission:
$7.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
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July 28, 2014

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