Find more projects

Backyard Bark Beetles

Main Project Information
Presented By University of Florida/IFAS
Goal Monitor bark & ambrosia beetles
Task Trap & send beetles for ID. See what you caught on a live map!

During the beetle-trapping season (spring/summer), become a citizen scientist and find out what bark & ambrosia beetles are in YOUR backyard!

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

How to Join

During the beetle-trapping season (spring/summer), become a citizen scientist and find out what bark & ambrosia beetles are in YOUR backyard! Go to Scroll down and enter your information under "Join the Project" to sign up. Create a trap by following the directions on our website, collect your beetles, log in to get a sample number, and then send us your beetles so we can identify them for you!

Teachers visit

Project Timing Bark beetles are most active during the spring/summer; therefore, spring/summer is the best time to collect beetles.
Social Media
Expenses $9.80
Materials List string, alcohol-based hand sanitizer, 2L bottle, USPS Small Flat-Rate Box
Ideal Age Group Elementary school (6 - 10 years), Middle school (11 - 13 years), High school (14 - 17 years), College, Graduate students, Adults, Families, Seniors
Ideal Frequency Other
Average Time An hour or so
Spend the Time outdoors
Type of Activity At school, At home
Training Materials
Class Materials Under "Resources, " click the schoolhouse logo:
Media Mentions
and Publications
Tags bark beetles, beetles, citizen science, entomology, florida, girl scouts
Project Updated 05/23/2018