PWIPM-MN creates new initiative with Girl Scouts


January 30, 2024


Girl Scouts were about to learn from Ecolab’s entomologists about the behaviors and characteristics of various insects. PHOTO: PWIPM-MN

The Minnesota Chapter of Professional Women in Pest Management (PWIPM-MN) joined forces with Girl Scouts River Valley for a new initiative that blends education, empowerment and hands-on exploration.

Fifty second- and third-grade Girl Scouts converged at the Ecolab Schuman Campus in Eagan, Minn., on Jan. 6 for an experience aimed at earning their Brownie Bug Badge.

Imagination and architectural design

It was a buzzing hive of creativity as young Girl Scouts used their artistic talents to create bug art and design bug homes. Guided by experts, the girls discovered the importance of bug habitats and the role they play in sustaining insect populations. This hands-on building activity instilled a sense of environmental stewardship in the young participants..

See bugs in action

Thanks to live demonstrations by Ecolab’s entomologists, the scouts marveled at the behaviors and characteristics of various insects, gaining valuable insights through interactive and engaging demonstrations — and even holding Madagascar hissing cockroaches (Gromphadorhina portentosa).

Meeting Baxter


Girl Scouts used their talents to create bug art and design bug homes. PHOTO: PWIPM-MN

Baxter the Beagle, who is Adam’s Pest Control official bed bug sniffing dog, showcased his impressive skills alongside his handler, Doug Seeman. The duo demonstrated the incredible olfactory abilities that dogs possess, particularly in the detection of bed bugs. Unlike humans, who have approximately six million olfactory receptors in their noses, dogs like Baxter boast up to 300 million. Additionally, the part of a dog’s brain dedicated to analyzing smells is about 40 times larger than that of humans. This heightened sense of smell allows dogs to excel in various scent-related tasks, including the precise identification of bed bugs. This makes them invaluable allies in pest control efforts.

Sponsorship and support

This innovative collaboration was made possible through the generous sponsorship of PWIPM-MN and the financial support from industry leaders in Minnesota. Adam’s Pest Control, Plunkett’s Pest Control and Ecolab joined forces and demonstrated their commitment to education and community engagement by contributing to an event that goes beyond traditional boundaries. This event showcased the potential for industry partnerships to inspire and educate the next generation of women in careers related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). It featured a wide representation of women in the industry, including owners, scientists, administration, human resources, technicians and more.


About the Author

Ellen Wagner is a former digital editor for PMP magazine.

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