It is a normal part of life to experience a small number of pests around the home. When the population of a pest species increases significantly it can become a nuisance and possibly a health issue. Many of these pests can be dealt with by the householders following some simple steps. Information and control options for some of these pests can be found below.
If you have attempted to reduce the pest population around your home but feel that the pests are coming from a neighbouring property, please first discuss the problem with your neighbour. If you are unable to resolve the issue and the pests present a genuine health risk please complete a Health Investigation Request Form and the City’s Health Service will conduct an investigation.
Most bee swarms occur during Spring as they hunt for a new nesting sites. Swarms like the one pictured usually lasts only a day or two before flying off in search a suitable location to nest. They prefer enclosed nesting location such as hollow trees or wall cavities. Where they establish a nest on your property you may need the assistance of a pest controller or beekeeper to remove them, do not attempt to remove them yourself. Honey bees are generally quite docile and will not normally sting unless provoked.
If you are having a problem with a nest located on City land, please contact our Parks and Gardens Department for removal. For more information please refer to the Honey Bee Swarms & Nests Information Sheet produced by the Department of Agriculture and Food website (DAFWA).
European House Borer
The European House Borer (EHB) is a destructive pest of seasoned softwoods including pine, fir and spruce. The beetle’s larvae can cause major structural damage to soft timbers of homes and furniture. For this reason the movement storage and disposal of untreated pine within EHB affected areas which include the City of Kalamunda is restricted, with significant penalties for beaching these restrictions. If you spot a suspected infestation please contact the European House Borer Hotline on 1800 084 881. Further information including factsheets is available on the Department of Agriculture and Food website (DAFWA).
European & Paper Wasps
European wasps (shown on left) are a significant pest, they attack bee hives damage fruit crops and can inflict serious and life threatening stings. Sightings of European wasps should be reported immediately to the Department of Agriculture and Food on 1800 084 881; do not try to remove or treat European wasp nests yourself. They are however commonly confused with the paper wasp so please refer to this identification guide before you call to be sure they are not the common paper wasp (shown on right).
A paper wasp nest can be removed by the householder using a good quality outdoor surface insect spray to douse the nest, after the sun has set, as this is when the wasps are least active. It is recommended to wear full sleeves and trousers as a precaution, as these wasps are capable of administering a painful sting. If you are not comfortable removing the nest yourself please contact a pest control operator for assistance. Further information is available on the Department of Agriculture and Food website (DAFWA).
Flies can be a serious pest of humans and livestock, they have the potential to transmit disease and some species can inflict painful bites. Fly breeding can be prevented by keeping compost heaps covered, avoiding the build-up of manure in chicken runs and ensuring that garbage bins are kept closed. When placing manure on the garden it should be dug in to a depth of about 150mm to prevent it providing a breeding site for flies. Allowing flies to breed is an offence. For further information please refer to the Department of Agriculture and Food website (DAFWA) pamphlet Compost, Manure & Flies. Further information is available on the Department of Agriculture and Food website (DAFWA).
The stable fly (Stomoxys calcitrans), is also sometimes called the “biting fly”, "biting house fly" or “dog fly”. This fly has been in Australia for over 100 years and is a synanthropic (associated with human activities) pest, mainly biting horses and cattle, but also humans, dogs and pigs in order to obtain blood. Stable flies are difficult to distinguish from house flies, the main difference being stable flies have a bayonet like mouthpart (proboscis) protruding from the front of the head. Read more information.
Mosquito bites can be irritating and painful, particularly to infants and sensitive people. Some species also pose a health risk as they are able to transmit infections such as Ross River and Barmah Forest Virus. For these reasons it is important that we work together to help reduce mosquito breeding in the City of Kalamunda.
The City’s Health Services conducts monitoring and treatment programs to help reduce mosquito numbers, but we also need your help to stop breeding around the home. Mosquitoes can’t breed without water so ensuring your backyard does not contain potential breeding sites will help reduce numbers.
Methods to reduce mosquito numbers include; draining pools, emptying containers in the garden (eg pot plant bases, tyres), applying oil such as paraffin oil or kerosene to the surface or putting fish in a pond to reduce larvae numbers. For more information please refer to the City’s Mosquito Control Information Sheet.
Portuguese millipedes are native to southwest Europe and have been found in the hills area since the late 1980’s. They feed on decaying plant matter and, although they do not pose a risk to public health, their numbers can cause a nuisance to residents. Portuguese millipedes are most abundant when the first rains occur during autumn and early winter. They are attracted to light, so avoid having house lights left on overnight. Please refer to the Department of Agriculture and Food pamphlet on Portuguese Millipedes for information and control options. Further information is available on the Department of Agriculture and Food website (DAFWA).
Rats are one of the most resilient and destructive pests in the world. They not only are responsible for the transmission of serious diseases but can also result in major damage to buildings and other structures. Owners and occupiers of premises are required to prevent harbourage of rats and secure their destruction. Rats can be discouraged and controlled by denying them food and shelter. Please refer to the Facts on Rats pamphlet produced by the Health Department of WA for more details and control measures.
Mediterranean Fruit Fly
Mediterranean fruit fly or Medfly is a serious horticultural pest in the Perth Hills and southern regions of Western Australia. It attacks a range of cultivated fruits including some fruiting vegetables.
Three main control strategies are recommended:
• Cover spraying
• Bait or spot spraying
• Lure and kill devices
The effectiveness of these control techniques should be monitored with traps.
Medfly not only affects crop production, but limits access to interstate and overseas markets.
Further information is available from the Department of Agriculture and Food website (DAFWA)
Below is a list of Information Sheets for other domestic pests. Further information on common pests is available from the Department of Agriculture and Food website (DAFWA)
You can also download the MyPestGuide app for iOS and Android devices. MyPestGuide lets you quickly identify pests and report your observations instantly to the Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia.
Download the app here: https://agspsrap31.agric.wa.gov.au/mypestguide/#/
Food Storage Pests
Head Lice Fact Sheet
Further information on common pests is available from the Department of Agriculture and Food website (DAFWA)
Reason for your rating *
Please enter the code below *