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Spotlight on Yamhill County Extension
Master Gardener Knows His Bugs
Yamhill County Master Gardener Bob Grossmann is the local expert on insects and spiders.
McMinnville, ORE. --
One specimen was delivered in a Tupperware container tightly-wrapped in packing tape. Another arrived in a giant canning jar, complete with breathing holes in the lid and carefully selected leaves and twigs. Frightened or fascinated, clients know they can bring their “bugs” to the OSU Extension office in Yamhill County.
Bob Grossmann, a Yamhill County Master Gardener since 1996, leads the “Insect Committee”, a group of OSU Extension Master Gardeners who meet every other week to identify specimens and learn more about insects and spiders. For 10 years, he also has written a monthly column called “Buggy Bits” for the Grapevine, the newsletter of the local Master Gardener organization.
Bob taught general science in junior high school for 32 years before retiring and becoming a Master Gardener, but entomology has been a personal passion since he was a kid. His interest has continued in spite of his admission that he is an “arachnophobe" (fear of spiders), though he says that his phobia has lessened over the years.
Asked about his favorite insects, Bob named the Saturniid moths, or Giant Silk Moths. There are two local Oregon species and Bob often raises them to produce specimens used for training with his Insect Committee.
At the end of each year, Bob writes a Buggy Bits column titled “The Year of the…”, listing the insects and spiders that were most numerous or of most interest during the year. In 2013, the stars included Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs, Spotted Wing Fruit Flies and Hobo Spiders.