Insects; what can a Farmware automate?

How do you all deal with insects? I read a few methods online from garlic to soapy water. I’m new to the gardening aspect of things; looking for your input on what’s the best way to offer advice/solutions to dealing with insects through a Farmware for newbies like myself.

I have a few ideas on identification of munched on leaves, but not sure what a useful solution to aim for is. The easiest solution would be to alert the Farmbot owner and email them a link to a useful organic pest control method article, a sort of early pest detection Farmware. With your input, I think we can come up with a better solution.

From your experiences, what can we do via software (Farmware/app) or hardware to help with pest control?


Don’t forget to check out my Farmbot Farmwares: Powerloop and Water Doser.

Utilise the extra tube attachment on the UTM to spray agent orange on the plant in question :stuck_out_tongue:

Seriously in my humble opinion, given the wide range of insects, impacts on plants and different solutions I would recommend the following solution if you want to take a crack…

Use AI to recognize predation by insects, fungus or disease. There are API services online that do this i.e. you stream in a photo and they identify stuff. I dont know if any are opensource. Once a problem is recognized a solution should be sent to the owner maybe put a red spot in the farm designer on the affected plant with a link to the problem and solution.

You may be able to build the code to do this and then try to rely on Farmbot owners to add the data but that may take years…

Sorry complex problem so no simple solution.

I think we can do it the easy way to begin with. See: and

Basic OpenCV code for detection of holes in a leaf. If enough users have it set up correctly, we can move on to a bigger AI implementation at a later time.

I’m now thinking how this information could be used. Maybe an email report with the results including pictures in question? Something along the lines of: “Looks like 3 of your Spinach plants are developing holes in the leaves. Post here TBD / check out this [link TBD] for advice”.


Cool there is some open source. Is there a service hosted somewhere so people dont have to set it up?

Farmbot has implemented a messaging service maybe use that instead of email although as you say you can attach pics in an email. Essentially it would be good to grab the coordinates too so it could be located on the farm designer in future.

Otherwise yeah what you proposed is a good start.

Sorry my time is limited so asking more questions rather than doing the research and giving answers.

BTW PowerLoop looks cool :grinning:. The interface with the farm designer is great.

1 Like

Thanks, whitecaps.

That leads us to: what options do we have for reacting to pests, organically? Assume we can connect a UTM pump output with say soapy water, something to spray?

How about updating the meta data of the plant and show the current health status in the crop info page like the planting status (planned, planted, harvested) currently does? Plants could also be highlighted or animated in farm designer if they are in a bad health state.

1 Like

As I said the problems and solutions are very varied. I consider myself a beginner in the subject as I am just a home gardener really, but I did a course in commercial. So feel free to school me. What I basically know is. Medium to large scale commercial is obviously pesticides, herbicides incl fungicides and barriers… reading about a small number of those chemicals on wikipedia made me wince.

For organic especially permaculture non toxic solutions prevail. These range from barriers like moats to cohabitation with certain plants, animals and insects to smells to non toxic sprays.

Different plants, latitudes, seasons, weather pose different problems and solutions. So like I said only single solution that exists is agent orange jk. Actually the only real single solution is a big barrier ;). So that’s why the solution I offered was built around arming folks with information.

But your solution will work for many insects and some fungi (moulds, mildew) so its worth implementing as that covers a lot :). A water proof pellet/dust dropping tool could work too.

At home for moths I use netting or pesticide dust, companion plants, for snails a simple moat or pellets, mixes like dishwatering liquid for mould and for my cats a nasty smelling crystalline substance. I have friends on lifestyle blocks who use African guinea fowl for insects and companion plants that draw in beneficial insects and birds.

Hope that helps.