Organic gardeners often rely on preventive measures to outwit pests. But imagine how much more effective you would be if you could predict exactly when bad bugs were in your neighborhood and then take action. Big Ag already has advanced warning systems to protect commercial crops from agricultural pests. Now, thanks to a new citizen science project, state-of-the-art prediction systems could soon be within the reach of organic gardeners.
A major international research collaboration called The Big Bug Hunt is asking people from across the United States to report sightings of garden pests as they appear in their plots. By collecting and analyzing the reports, the project team will identify signature patterns in pest behavior. The ultimate goal is to provide pest-alert emails when damaging insects are heading your way so you can take immediate action. Gardeners can report any pests, from aphids to wireworms, and it takes just seconds to do so. Head to the www.BigBugHunt.com to report garden pests or to register for pest prevention updates.