Big Bug Hunt: Online pest tracking for gardeners
July 26, 2016
July 26, 2016
Big Bug Hunt is a new online citizen science project that documents pest behavior so gardeners can be notified of possible pests in their area.
Growing Interactive is behind the initiative, which works in collaboration with the University of York, gardening companies and gardening publications. The project is funded by Innovate UK and the Biological Sciences Research Council.
“We’re tracking everything, from essential beneficial insects such as bees … right through to aphids and slugs — and we’ll be making the results available as the data is analyzed,” says Growing Interactive Founder Jeremy Dore on the company’s website.
Users can report or search for insect pests on BigBugHunt.com. Future plans for the project include a mobile app, interactive maps, detailed pest and disease guides for identification, and possible treatments and prevention techniques.
“The aim of the Big Bug Hunt is to make it easy for gardeners to report any pests or beneficial insects they see in their gardens,” Benedict (Ben) Vanheems of GrowVeg.TV told The Sacramento Bee. “We’re then using that data to build up a picture of how pests spread. By combining it with meteorological data and the expertise of the university researchers, we’re creating the first intelligent pest prediction service for gardeners.”