Get ready for Biosecurity Blitz 2018

Lady and child looking for pests in garden
DPIRD biometrician Rebecca O’Leary and son Nicholas (4) are ready for the start of Biosecurity Blitz 2018, which runs from 19 October to 16 November.

Communities across the State are encouraged to get ready to participate in the upcoming Biosecurity Blitz 2018 campaign.

This is the fourth year the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) has run the annual event, which this year will be held from 19 October to 16 November.

The event encourages the public to get outdoors and look for insects, weeds and signs of disease, which could impact Western Australia’s valuable agriculture and fisheries industries.

Landholders, families, students and community groups across Australia are invited to download one of the department’s free monitoring apps or go to the MyPestGuide™ Community website to report observations.

The department has led responses to several biosecurity incursions over the past 18 months, including citrus canker, Queensland fruit fly and brown marmorated stink bug, highlighting the importance of early detection and monitoring surveillance.

With the majority of exotic pest detections coming through public reporting, everyone who participates is assisting the department to implement an efficient biosecurity response. The public plays an important role in assisting the first line of biosecurity defence, observing and reporting suspect pests, diseases and weeds.

Early detection of new exotic pests is crucial to attempting eradication and minimises the impact on the community, the agriculture, horticulture and fisheries industries we depend on, and the State’s economy.

To protect our food production and uphold WA’s enviable biosecurity status, it is important for good collaboration between government, the community and industry.

The community’s involvement in Biosecurity Blitz has grown year-on-year, with more than one thousand reports filed during the 2017 campaign. Even reports of common pests provide crucial pest surveillance data as they help provide evidence that WA is free from certain exotic pests.

Biosecurity Blitz 2018 participants can download the free MyPestGuideTM Reporter or PestFax apps, as well as the WA PestWatch app for aquatic observations. Online reports can also be made via the department’s MyPestGuideTM Community webpage.

To participate simply take a photograph of any insect, weed or disease and upload it via the apps or submit images via the website. 

Department staff will identify the organisms reported and collate the data online for the reporting community to view so the public can learn about what other reporters are finding.

For more information and to sign up for email updates containing the best reports of the blitz visit the Biosecurity Blitz 2018 website.