Why track pests? – One way to go about pest management is to do the shotgun approach – tons of traps, pesticides, barriers etc. Not a very smart approach – you’re never sure what is working and what isn’t. This can be a big waste of time and money. A smart approach is to track your pest observations and concentrate your resources where needed. Tracking gives you a history to view and verify that a particular system is or isn’t working.
ZpestTracker.com is designed to facilitate the tracking and monitoring of pests (all unwanted insects and small animals) in an institution. Primarily developed with museums and libraries in mind it does not have any specific pieces that would prevent it from being used for any location or sets of locations.
Zpest Tracker uses an identification system developed and presented by the Integrated Pest Management Working Group (IPMWG). The program’s naming system classifies types of unwanted insects and animals as incidental, indicator, nuisance, pest and predator. The system also enables users to group and sort observations. A pest observation happens at a particular location. The program is based on the idea that the location does not change – Building 17, 2nd floor, Room 23, on the floor next to the door – never changes. The trap, type of trap, or if there is a trap there at all may change but the location is still – “on the floor next to the door”.
ZpestTracker.com references everything it tracks in one form or another to a location. Because most observations are through the use of a trap, and for historical reasons, we use the term TRAP ID as the nomenclature for a particular location. When an observation is made it is made in a particular area at a particular location and is assigned a TRAP ID. Typically if you observe a pest at a location you would want to consider putting a trap there to see if that is a problem point.
Fields Tracked by ZpestTracker
- Incidental – does not cause damage, but may be food for damaging pests.
- Predator – does not do direct damage but indicates that pests that damage may be present – usually the damaging pests can be a food source for the predators.
- Indicator – can be an indication of a problem. If this pest is generally found in damp areas it may be an indicator that there is a water problem.
- Nuisance – does no damage and not a direct indication of a problem. • Pest – does damage.
Like the original Zpests there are reports built into Zpest Tracker – with the options expanded. There are pest count reports by location, area, trap id and name. There is a pest count by a single type of pest as well as a pest count by a single trap id. Each report can be set to report for a specific start and end date range. In addition to this the Utilities section has a tab that lets you export your data in a comma delimited format that can be opened by Excel or Libra Calc, or just a text editor. Suggestions for other reports would be appreciated.
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