The WA Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development has received a National Science Week Grant to support a second Pantry Blitz in Western Australia and showcase how science and agriculture co-exist.
Pantry Blitz will run from 12 August to 9 September 2017 in WA and will also run for the first time in South Australia, with the long-term aim of expanding nationwide.
Department agriculture development officer Laura Fagan said everyone who took part in Pantry Blitz received a free trap to place in their kitchen pantry and report on trapped pests using the MyPestGuide Reporter app.
Department experts will identify the insects trapped and respond to each report, providing an opportunity for participants to learn more about household insects.
“In 2016’s inaugural blitz, almost 2000 people registered and provided surveillance reports, with no exotic pests detected,” Ms Fagan said.
“This was an excellent way of increasing community surveillance and demonstrated that everyone can play a part to help protect our vital food production from harmful or damaging pests.
“In 2017, we are aiming for 4000 participants.”
Ms Fagan said a generic lure would be used to attract a wider range of insects to trap a variety of different pests that might be live in kitchen cupboards.
This is expected to encourage people to send the Department more reports and enable them to learn more about the insects in their cupboards.
“Every report is appreciated, as together they form a data set that can be used to demonstrate Australia’s pest-free status to support trade access to overseas markets,” she said.
Registrations for Pantry Blitz are now open and close on 1 August 2017. Packages containing a sticky trap, lure and instructions will be mailed to registered participants. People are encouraged to sign up online via the Pantry Blitz website.
Pantry Blitzers will be asked to use MyPestGuide Reporter™ or the matching online reporting tool to send in a weekly photo report of their sticky trap. The app can be downloaded free from the App Store and Google Play.
Pantry Blitz is a key activity of the Department’s Boosting Biosecurity Defences project supported by Royalties for Regions
This Inspiring Australia initiative is supported by the Australian Government as part of National Science Week.
Source: WA Government