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UF/IFAS Backyard Bark Beetles

Backyard Bark Beetles is a citizen science initiative aimed at producing and maintaining a large-scale, long-term bark beetle monitoring program. Our trapping activity is easy, fun, effective, and utilizes items found in the everyday household (2L bottle, hand sanitizer, etc.). This activity can be completed by anyone, anywhere. It is especially useful as a hands-on activity to complement in-school lessons focused on topics like native/invasive species, forest health, environmental stewardship, etc. and has been used in courses spanning multiple disciplines (e.g., environmental science, entomology, ecology, etc.). Our website ( is easily accessible and contains all the information needed to participate (informational handouts, instructions, etc.). Also, teachers: a narrated lesson on bark & ambrosia beetles is available that can be modified for in-class use. Once we receive your beetles, they will be identified and promptly added to the interactive map, which can be found at bottom of the project's homepage ( On this map, you can view pictures and read information about the beetles you (and fellow citizen scientists!) have collected. Almost instant feedback! With this program, we can learn where populations have become established and track newly invasive species, all while engaging the public (i.e., citizen scientists) in real-world scientific research. Help us understand what kinds of bark beetles are in YOUR backyard! Additional information & participant feedback can be found on our Facebook ( and Twitter ( pages. Questions? Send them to

Project URL:

Geographic Scope: USA

Project Status: Active - recruiting volunteers

Participation Tasks: Learning, Specimen/sample collection,

Start Date: 2013-08-24

Project Contact:

Federal Government Sponsor:

NSF logo USFS logo USDA logo

Other Federal Government Sponsor:

Fields of Science: Animals, Biology, Education, Nature and outdoors, Pollinators/insects

Intended Outcomes: Research development, Individual learning,