The Big Bug Hunt is back and they are hoping this is the year it goes viral. This is a citizen science international research project being spearheaded by Growing Interactive, a company that creates software for gardeners.
Each year, gardeners around the world report when pests start to show up in their garden. The folks at the Big Bug Hunt compile all this data and track where and when those annoying garden insects are headed and then alert gardeners to be on the lookout and prepared to take action.
It’s very simple to report your sightings on their web site. They just need to know which insect you saw on which plant, and where you are. There’s nothing to purchase and you don’t have to make a time commitment.
As of now, you need to go to their website to report your sightings, but a mobile app is in the works. And they plan to make the data available as it is analyzed and compiled, with the intention of getting it out there as soon as a pest population is in your area, so you can be proactive.
Last summer, I participated in a mosquito egg project. Sad to say, I actually got excited when my samples came back positive for 2 different types of mosquito eggs. I was so excited that I’d set up the trap properly that I lost sight of the fact that mosquitoes were breeding under my back porch. Hey, it was exciting news, what can I say.
Project Bug Watch is even easier… no traps to set up, no special forms to fill out… just go out in your garden and keep your eyes peeled. You do that anyway, right? They aren’t tracking mosquitoes, but if your cabbage leaves have ever looked like this…
…then you’ll want to be on the lookout for these guys…
… large cabbage white butterfly caterpillars, shown here munching on a trap crop of nasturtium. They also have id guides, to help you identify what insect you’ve spotting.
If this sounds like something you’d find interesting, check out their web site, at The Big Bug Hunt.
All Images provided by The Big Bug Hunt