The Insect Fear Film Festival!

Scaring the general public with horrific films and horrific filmmaking since 1984

Join EGSA and the UIUC Department of Entomology for our annual film festival.  Held every spring, this festival is an opportunity to see movies focused on insects, interact with the insects in our petting zoo, and dispel some fears of these incredible, fascinating creatures!


The 2021 theme for the 38th IFFF is…

“Fear Films Featuring Fleas”

The 38th Annual Insect Fear Film Festival (IFFF) Featuring Fleas will be held on Saturday, February 27, 2021 and will be hosted by the Entomology Graduate Students Association in the Department of Entomology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Activities will begin at 5 pm. A full schedule is provided below
5:00-5:30 – How to make a flea circus, Dr. Tim Cockerill – Falmouth University in England
5:30-5:50 – INHS Insect Collection Tour, Dr. Tommy McElrath – Illinois Natural History Survey Insect Collection Curator
5:50-6:05 – Virtual Insect Petting Zoo (Roaches and Beetles)
6:05-6:15 – Flea Ventriloquism, Hannah Leskoksy
6:15-6:20 – Break
6:20-6:30 – Insect Crafts
6:30-6:45 – Virtual Insect Petting Zoo (Tarantulas)
6:45-7:05 – Bugscope, Scott Robinson – Microscopy Suite Manager, University of Illinois Imaging Technology Group
7:05-7:30 – Art Show and Winner Announcements, Dr. May Berenbaum – Professor & Head, University of Illinois Department of Entomology
7:30-10:00 – Movies, Dr. May Berenbaum – Professor & Head, University of Illinois Department of Entomology

To participate in this event, registration ahead of time is required but FREE! Click HERE to register.



2021 IFFF Film Schedule

Featured short films and clips selected from: 100 years of flea films, instructional videos, and documentaries

7:30-10:00 – Movies, Dr. May Berenbaum – Professor & Head, University of Illinois Department of Entomology

Introduction to the Films    7:30p

Bobby Bumps Intro    7:45p
·       1919 Bobby Bumps’ Pup Gets the Flea-enza     4m25s
Out of the Inkwell Intro    7:50p
·       1925 Out of the Inkwell-Koko Trains ‘Em    10m09s
Looney Tunes Intro    8:05p
·       1943 An Itch in Time    8m00s
Ectoparasite Control Intro    8:15p
·       1950 US Army Training Film    12m22s
Pink Panther Intro    8:30p
·       1971 The Pink Flea (Pink Panther)    7m00s
Commercials Intro    8:40p
·       1984, Raid Outdoor flea killer commercial  SC Johnson    30s
·       1986, Raid fogger    30s
·       1987, Raid Fogger kills even resistant bugs dead S.C. Johnson    30s
·       1986, Raid fogger    30s
·       1991, Australia  30s
·       1995 Raid Flea Killer Plus dog spray  commercial    30s
·       1990s Enforcer Flea Killer and Potpourri-scented carpet deodorizer  30s
Documentaries Intro    9:00p (*These clips will not be recorded.)
·    *Shiro Ishii: The Mad Scientist Who Created Plague Bombs in WWII 19m10s
·     *Why fleas are hard to kill, Science Insider    4m41s
·     *The Past, Present and Future of the Bubonic Plague, TedEd    4m12s
News Stories Intro    9:40p
·       PBN, Bubonic Plague Existential Threat                4m20s
·       Lakewood Colorado Fox 31                               1m33s


2021 IFFF Events

  • Virtual Flea Circus featuring our special guest Dr. Tim Cockerill from Falmouth University in England.
  • Flea Bugscope where you can see these tiny critters up close!
  • EGSA Virtual Petting Zoo, where you can learn about tarantulas, beetles, and other insects & arthropods.
  • IFFF Art Contest Gallery, where you can see all of the insect-themed artwork submitted by K-12 students in the area.
  • Flea/insect crafts you can do at home!
  • Get a virtual tour of the INHS insect collection with Dr. Tommy McElrath.

Find more information about the 38th IFFF on Facebook or Twitter.
@uiucEGSA @InsectFilmFest #IFFF38
Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/IFFFatUofI



2021 IFFF T-shirts

Want your 2021 IFFF T-shirt? A limited supply of youth-, adult-sized shirts and long-sleeved shirts in adult sizes are available!  Contact Sara Wilson (entomologygsa.uiuc[at]gmail.com) with an order form if you would like to order shirt(s).





2021 IFFF Insect Art Contest:

For many years, we have held an Insect Art Contest in conjunction with the Insect Fear Film Festival. The art contest is organized, judged, and presented by graduate students, but participation by teachers and students truly makes the art contest a success. In the past, we have solicited entries from art teachers in area schools, but we think that participation in the Insect Art Contest can extend beyond art classes. Any student in the community is welcome to enter.
To submit art to IFFF, please fill out the forms below and send them to Sarah Murphree (sarahmm5[at]illinois.edu): IFFF Art Contest Rules and IFFF Art Contest Entry Form. For more information about the Insect Art Contest, contact William Montag (montag2[at]illinois.edu) and Sarah Murphree (sarahmm5[at]illinois.edu).

IFFF2021 Art Contest Gallery
Look at examples of previous winners from 2019,  20182017, and 2016




2021 IFFF Crafts
Make your own jumping flea!

Crafting instructions are attached: IFFF flea template and IFFF flea craft instructions

The list of materials for the craft activities is as follows:

  • A sheet of colored construction paper
  • A pen or marker
  • 2 paper cups
  • Scissors
  • A rubber band
  • A stapler
  • Glue or tap



2021 IFFF – Fun Flea Photos

“The Go-As-You-Please Race, as seen through a Magnifying Glass”, engraved by J. G. Francis, from an article by C. F. Holder in St. Nicholas Magazine, 1886

A slide image of the plague flea – Xenopsylla cheopis cheopis (Rothschild, 1903). A non-type male. Country of collection: Morocco. Year of collection: Not Specified.

Oriental rat flea or the plague flea – Xenopsylla cheopis.

cat flea – Ctenocephalides felis

dog flea – Ctenocephalides canis

A dog flea (Ctenocephalides canis)
V0022501EL A dog flea (Ctenocephalides canis): adult, pupa, egg and lar
Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images
A dog flea (Ctenocephalides canis): adult, pupa, egg and larva. Coloured etching.
Published: –
Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

a life cycle of Ctenocephalides canis



IFFF History:

Click here for a history of the IFFF.
Click here for a listing of features shown at previous festivals.
Check out the gallery of IFFF t-shirts from the last 37 years.
Previous Insect Art Contest winners from 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019.

Find more information about the IFFF on Facebook or Twitter.
@uiucEGSA @InsectFilmFest #IFFF38
Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/IFFFatUofI