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Earn Extra Money Catching Fireflies
If your youngsters have been looking for a good money-making 4-H or FFA project, you may want to suggest that they consider catching fireflies.
The Sigma Firefly Club, was started some 24 years ago by the Sigma Chemical Co., St. Louis, Mo. "Members" of the club catch fireflies with specially designed nets and ship them to the company in mailing cans that contain a special drying agent that preserves the fireflies. The company pays 1 cent for each firefly caught, as well as all postage costs.
Fireflies are in demand because of the chemical contained in their lighted tail. This chemical Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) is used by doctors to detect cancer cells. New uses have also recently been found, including a test for detecting polluted water, and as a shark repellant.
"It pays more than collecting aluminum cans or many other such projects, and you've got the satisfaction of helping doctors and scientists," a company spokesman told FARM SHOW.
Fireflies are found in all parts of the U.S. and the club has members in at least 27 states. The company supplies a specially designed net that lets you collect fireflies without continually emptying the net. It also supplies the special mailer can which contains a drying agent that preserves the flies for shipping. Each participant pays a deposit of $2.50 for each can and net, which is refunded at the end of the season when they are returned. Each mailing can holds 500 to 1,000 fireflies.
For an informational booklet, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Sigma Firefly Club, Sigma Chemical Company, P.O. Box 14508, St. Louis, Mo. 63172 (ph toll-free 800 325-3010).


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1985 - Volume #9, Issue #3