Public Health Command Europe Entomologists Maj. Amanda Cline and Daniel Kiefer recently helped local Girl Scouts from Landstuhl and Sembach earn their bug badge.

The girls, who were between five and 10 years old, learned the difference between a spider and an insect and even got to take a look at live hissing cockroaches.

"Partnering with local Girl Scout troops is a great way to teach the Daisies and Brownies what public health is and what Public Health Command Europe does to protect our community as well as our military," said Cline. "As an entomologist, I'm very passionate about insects and spiders and enjoy teaching the girls that all things that creep and crawl are not yucky -- some are very beneficial for the environment and even for us."

In addition to talking about the many different types of jobs for an entomologist, the different life cycles of insects, and insect and spider characteristics, Cline also explained to the girls how to properly remove ticks and how to prevent tick bites.

The Girl Scouts were excited to monitor and identify the cockroaches.

"The cockroaches are icky," said Reagan Tischler, a Daisy assigned to a Landstuhl Girl Scout troop. "They are super big and eat everything. I really liked watching them. They can crawl real fast. I even touched one!"

Landstuhl Troop leader, Heather Lidowski, said the visit from PHCE was a great way for the Girl Scouts to earn their bug badge.

"The children loved the opportunity to learn what Public Health Command Europe and entomologists do," Lidowski said. "They were especially interested in the different parts of insects, different classifications and the benefits of having bugs around, along with potential risks some insects may present."

The PHCE Entomological Sciences Program fosters the prevention of exposure to vector-borne diseases, hazardous plants/animals and pesticides by providing expert diagnostic, investigative and educational services in direct support of Soldiers, their families, and the entire Department of Defense community.

Entomology services provided by PHCE include the following:
- Pest species identification
- Pesticide applicator training
- Entomological consultation
- Pest surveillance and control/risk assessments estimating the impact of the problems and
developing countermeasures
- Community education/risk communication/technical assistance visit
- Installation pest management program review

For more information on PHCE, visit http://rhce.amedd.army.mil/phce/index.cfm.