Little buggers

LOOKING for something for the kids to do in the last week of the holidays?

The department of primary industries and regional development has come up with a great idea that also helps protect farmers from an exotic stinker—use kids as bug-hunting citizen scientists.

Following the discovery of brown marmorated stink bugs at a cargo warehouse in Jandakot earlier this year, the department has been hunting for any escapees and has now called on kids to help.

It wants budding Darwins to build their own bug traps, photograph any unusual captures and send the images through to its pest reporting app. There’s a video on how to make traps on http://www.agric.wa.gov.au/plant-biosecurity/biosecurity-alert-brown-marmorated-stink-bug.

• Agricultural officers Marc Widmer and Rob Emery with a home-made Brown marmorated stink bug trap. Photo supplied

Entomologist Rob Emery said while the stink bug was a risk to agricultural crops, city-siders could also be affected as it had a tendency to seek shelter inside during cold weather, and often in large numbers.

He said bug hunters should check out the video on the department’s website to make sure they had the right stink bug, as it’s quite similar to a local species that poses no threat.

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