New app makes reporting pests easy
Biosecurity is everyone’s responsibility, and we can all protect our industry investments from unwanted pests and diseases.
One of the best ways we can work together is through general surveillance - that is harnessing those who are out on our orchards, to contribute to gathering and reporting information around the presence of potentially new and unwanted threats. This is important because we know that early detection of unusual pests is one of the biggest indicators of a successful eradication. The earlier we catch a threat, the more options we have for eradication, resulting in more cost effective, efficient, and ultimately successful response programmes.
Reporting the unusual has been made easier with the new Find-A-Pest app, free to download from the Apple and Google app stores.
Users can easily submit photos, and any additional information (i.e. where pests were found, damage, size) straight from their phones. To ensure it is functional for our growers and kiwifruit community, we have allowed for offline reporting, which means if you are out of Wi-Fi range or mobile reception, your report will be uploaded when you return to service. The app will automatically store the date, time, and GPS location of each observation, and you can choose to obscure your location from public view, if you wish.
The app includes up-to-date factsheets and a list of pests specific to the kiwifruit industry. The factsheets cover new to New Zealand unwanted pests, such as the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB), as well as pests that are already established in kiwifruit - this helps you to keep a watchful eye on your surroundings and look for likely threats. It also includes a general news function where KVH can relay biosecurity information, such as upcoming events, to ensure everyone remains biosecurity aware. It is also equipped with a push notification system for biosecurity alerts to help users keep up-to-date with urgent biosecurity news, such as a new incursion in your area.
Find-A-Pest is not intended to be used in isolation, but rather in unison with other reporting methods, including calling or emailing the KVH office (on 0800 665 825 or [email protected]), or phoning the Biosecurity New Zealand hotline (0800 80 99 66). It aids in easy, quick and accurate detections and identifications of pests for the kiwifruit industry and beyond, which will in turn keep our industry, and New Zealand, safe from the threat of unwanted pests and diseases.
Many other primary industry groups are also using the app to build up extensive knowledge about potential threats that could have wide ranging impacts on sectors across the country, including forestry, various horticulture industries, Regional Councils, and the Department of Conservation.
Visit the Find-A-Pest website to learn more.