2016’s Pantry Blitz, a citizen science project in Western Australia, was so successful that it is once again running in WA and has been extended to include South Australians.

It’s not just householders with a pantry who can take part in the Blitz; grain producers, agri and stock resellers can all set up a sticky trap and send in a weekly photo report of the pests they catch. Apart from in the pantry, there are many places on farms like barns and sheds where the sticky traps can be placed.

All you have to do is register before 1 August 2017. Then you will receive in the mail a sticky trap, lure and instructions on how and where to put up the trap to catch grains pests.

Judy Bellati from the Grains Farm Biosecurity Program wants WA and SA grains producers and agri suppliers to take part in the Pantry Blitz

The Blitz takes place from 12 August to 9 September 2017, when Blitzers will be asked to use MyPestGuide Reporter™ smart phone app or the online reporting tool to send in a weekly photo report of their sticky trap.

South Australian Grains Biosecurity Officer Judy Bellati said that the Blitz is open to everyone. “We also want agri re-sellers and stock re-sellers to take part in the Blitz,” Ms Bellati said. “Regionally based agri suppliers that stock animal feeds, pet foods and other host materials are potential risk pathways for pests from overseas, so it would be great if they’d take part.”

In addition to catching pests of the grains industry, the Blitz provides valuable evidence of pest freedom to keep overseas markets open to our grain. “We don’t expect that Blitzers will find a serious exotic pest like khapra beetle, but all the checks made for it add up to a dataset that demonstrates Australia’s pest-free status for trade negotiations,” Dr Sharyn Taylor, National Manager, Broadacre Cropping at Plant Health Australia, said. “Every report counts.”

“Australia’s grains industry makes claims that we are free from certain pests and diseases that impact on our market access, so it is critical that we continue to generate supporting surveillance data – the evidence to back up such claims,” Dr Taylor added. “Pantry Blitz is a great way to help.”

With grains being the largest crop sector for both WA and SA, and most of what is produced being sold overseas, grains biosecurity is of great importance to livelihoods and the economy.

If you’d like more advice on where to place the traps, in stores and on farm please contact Judy Bellati, from the Grains Farm Biosecurity Program, by email (jbellati@phau.com.au) or phone (0412 218 228).

Sign up online before 1 August 2017 via the Pantry Blitz website.

The Pantry Blitz received grant funding from the Australian Government as part of the Inspiring Australia – Science Engagement Programme and is a part of the Royalties for Regions Boosting Biosecurity Defences project.

Article by the national Grains Farm Biosecurity Program July 2017.