UPDATED: Suspect a new invasive pest? Report it with this app

04/24/2013 01:36:00 PM
Vicky Boyd

(UPDATED COVERAGE, 4:35 p.m.) In recognition of Invasive Plant Pest and Disease Species Awareness Month, the California Department of Food and Agriculture has launched a new smartphone app that allows people to report pests.

Ohio State University Extension has released an iPhone and iPad version of its Great Lakes Early Detection app, which previously had only been available for Android phones and tablets.

The "Report a Pest" app, as the California app is called, allows people to take a picture of the suspected invasive species and submit it to CDFA for evaluation, according to a news release.

The app includes an option to tag the photo with GPS, or global positioning system, coordinates.

Mediterranean fruit flyFile photoReport invasive pests, such as the Mediterranean fruit fly, with a new smartphone app.That way if it turns out to be a species of concern, pest experts can return to the exact spot for delimiting surveys or other actions.

The app can be downloaded for free from the Apple App Store.

An Android version is under development.

The mobile version is an extension of the department's online Report a Pest Web page.

That page includes information about how to submit photographs and even live samples of suspected invasive pests.

Users of the Ohio State University app also can photograph a pest they believe is an invasive species, upload it to an invasive species website and email the data to scientists for verification.

You can monitor recent reports of invasive species on the website, too.

And you don't have to be farming, either, to report a possible invasive species.

Reports come from boaters, hikers, fishermen and birdwatchers, among others.

Invasive species cost the U.S. more than $120 billion each year in crop losses, killed trees, control measures and more, according to the Ohio State University news release.

Download both the iPhone and Android version of the app at http://go.uso.edu.

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