Pests

Pests come in all shapes and sizes and can be real…well, pests! Find out about some of your neighbourhood pests below, specifically those which may spread diseases like mosquitoes and rats.

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) is the best source of information on other pests, including spiders, insects and animals.

The DPIRD has also put out a great community resource website and app, MyPestGuide. By using the MyPestGuide Reporter app you will be supporting your local community, defending WA's Ag industry, and protecting the natural environment from unusual or suspected exotic pests.  Check out the MyPestGuide community website, where you can search on and see what other people are reporting, and also read how DPIRD's expert staff have responded on each post.

Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development Website

MyPestGuide Reporter app

MyPestGuide Community Website

Rats and Mice

Rats and mice are almost always present throughout cities and suburban areas due to the opportunities for food and shelter afforded by human activity. In established suburbs, food and water is readily available from such things as fruit trees and pet food.  

We mainly see 2 types of rats. The Roof Rat and the Norway Rat.

Rats & Mice Information Sheet

  • Norway rats (also known as sewer rats) eat a wide variety of foods but mostly prefer cereal grains, meats, fish, nuts and some fruits or pet food. They will travel an area of about 30-50 metres from their burrows or nests in search of food or water.
  • Roof rats prefer fruits, nuts, berries, avocados, slugs and snails. They often eat fruit that is still on the tree.  When feeding on an orange they make a small hole in the rind through which they completely eat the inside of the orange, leaving only the hollowed out rind hanging on the tree. They will travel up to 100 metres for food, and are food hoarders, stashing supplies of food such as seeds and nuts.

You can control rodent populations by limiting the food and shelter available, and by following these steps:

  • Stacking wood about 40 cm off the ground and away from sides of sheds and fences;
  • Removing fruit and nuts from vines and trees at the end of the season, picking up rotten fruit from the ground and removing fruit from palm trees when in bloom;
  • Keeping the backyard as clean and free of debris as possible;
  • Maintaining rubbish and compost bins in good repair, with secure lids and free from holes;
  • Keeping pet dishes clean and storing bulk pet food in closed containers; and
  • Regularly removing garden waste from sheds and the yard.

Baiting and trapping are the most common ways of eliminating your unwanted guests. 

Baiting

Baiting involves laying poison baits along rodent paths and in roof and wall cavities that are easily accessible. It is very important to ensure the bait isn’t accessible to children or pets. Some rodent baits have the potential to cause secondary poisoning.  Secondary poisoning can occur when a non-target animals i.e. pets, birds etc, eat a rat or mouse that has ingested the bait.  Any carcasses must be wrapped and disposed of immediately in order to prevent secondary poisoning from occurring. See Generation First Strike - Secondary Poisoning.

Generation First Strike - Secondary Poisoning

Trapping

There are two types of rodent traps – the old-fashioned snap back trap and the more recent, capture-box style of trap. Different types of bait can be used including peanut butter, bacon, chocolate and nuts. Placement of the trap should be in the rodent’s pathway, but never above food or food preparation surfaces, to avoid contamination by rat urine, droppings or blood.

If you would like to make an enquiry or complaint about Rats and Mice please use the Online Web form

Rats & Mice Online Web form

Flies

There are different types of flies found in Western Australia, and many of them never bother us – in fact, many species of flies are useful for pollination and disposal of manure. We’re all painfully aware, however, that the flies that do pester us range in nuisance value from annoying to dangerous to our health and damaging to important industries.

House flies, bush flies, blow flies March flies/horse flies

Besides being a nuisance, flies can also carry bacteria. You can prevent flies breeding in and around your home by taking some basic steps:

  • Make sure your rubbish an recycling bins are clean and closed at all times;
  • Wrap all food scraps tightly and place them in the bin immediately;
  • Keep poultry and pet areas clean at all times.
  • Don't leave lawn clippings in heaps, rake them out thinly;
  • Dig any manures and fertilisers well into the soil.

The Department of Health has further information on the life cycle of flies, diseases caused by flies, and control of flies here.

Department of Health Common Pests Information

Fruit fly

The fruit fly, or medfly, is a serious horticultural pest in Western Australia, causing untold damage to crops and reducing income for our growers and farmers.

Fruit fly is a declared pest under the Biosecurity and Agriculture Management Act 2007, and it is mandatory to control in some areas of Western Australia, including Armadale, Kalamunda, Mundaring, Serpentine-Jarrahdale and Swan. Here in Bassendean our proximity to the Swan Valley means we have a special responsibility to prevent the spread of fruit fly to family-run businesses in the area. It is essential for backyard growers to dispose of fly-infested or unwanted fruit, including fruit left on the tree.

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development’s Agriculture (AGRIC) and Food Team have put together a fantastic range of information on identifying and controlling fruit fly.

Identifying Fruit Fly

Controlling Fruit Fly

Preventing the spread of fruit fly to our producers in the Swan Valley means we’ll be able to jump in the car and drive ten minutes to buy fresh, cheap fruit from the grower for years to come!

If you would like to make an enquiry about Flies please use the online web form

Fly Online Web Form

European Wasps

European wasps are a dangerous pest posing a risk to health and safety and the environment in which we live. Sitings of these wasps are to be reported. 

If you believe you have sighted a European Wasp, contact the Pest and Disease Information Service (PaDIS) 

Phone: (08) 9368 3080 

Email: padis@dpird.wa.gov.au

App: MyPestGuide

Pest and Disease Information Service (PaDIS)

How do you identify European Wasp?

Distinguish them by the following features and traits:

  •  Black antennae, Paper Wasps' are yellow.
  •  Legs folded up when flying, other wasps dangle their legs.
  •  90% of their nests are underground, with wasps flying in and out of a single hole in the ground.

Other strange behaviours to be observed:

  • Just like us, they love sweet food and protein rich foods such as meat. If you see wasps gather around such foods, they are likely European wasps.
  • Feeding on dead animal carcases or dead insects (such as on the front bumper of cars).

European Wasps can be difficult to tell apart from the common Paper Wasp. Refer to this image as a guide. 

Identifying European Wasps

What is being done?

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) works with the Town, other local governments and state government departments such as the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) to provide inspection and maintenance of surveillance traps, wasp tracking, nest location and destruction, public awareness and community trapping programs.

How did they get here? 

The European Wasp is native to Europe, North Africa and parts of Asia. They were first found in Australia in Tasmania in 1959. European Wasp queens are accidentally transported into WA by freight and cargo from over east.

The first sightings in WA were reported in 1977. Since then, an aggressive eradication program has been ongoing.

What can you do? 

DPIRD act on all suspicious wasp reports and work with land owners to set traps and locate nests. Therefore it is vitally important that if you spot suspicious wasp activity to report it through to DPIRD using the methods linked at the top of the page. 

For more information, visit the DPIRD website.

Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development Website