Citizen scientists are called to sign up to participate in the Pantry Blitz 2021 biosecurity surveillance campaign to help protect Western Australia’s agriculture industry and the environment from exotic pests and diseases.
The blitz from 22 March to 18 April provides an opportunity to survey household pantries for ‘creepy crawlies’ and report them to the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development for identification.
Interested Pantry Blitz participants can sign up via the department’s website to receive a free trap for insects.
Department senior development officer Rosalie McCauley said Pantry Blitz provided an opportunity for participants to discover what small ‘critters’ lurked on their property, while supporting WA’s biosecurity defences.
“Biosecurity is everyone’s business and the public plays an important role in the first line of defence by reporting observations of insects, pests, diseases, weeds and diseases,” Dr McCauley said.
“We encourage everyone – young and old – from throughout the State to get involved and inspect their pantry and wider environment for any insects or signs of disease and report them to the department for identification.
“The public’s involvement in Pantry Blitz 2021 is crucial to provide verifiable evidence on the absence and presence of pests and diseases in WA to demonstrate area freedom and support access to valuable export markets.”
The data from Pantry Blitz is used in a variety of ways, from supporting area freedom assessments to assisting incident responses.
The department has been involved in several biosecurity responses in recent years to protect the State’s agriculture industry, including Queensland fruit fly, red imported fire ant, browsing ant and tomato potato psyllid.
Pantry Blitz reports are made via the department’s free MyPestGuideTM Reporter app, which gives each report scientific validity, with the addition of photographs, a barcode, timestamp and location date.
For more information about the Pantry Blitz 2021 and how to download the MyPestGuideTM Reporter app visit agric.wa.gov.au/pantryblitz2021
Jodie Thomson/Megan Broad, media liaison
+61 (0)8 9368 3937