Invasive animals are introduced animals that compete with, predate upon and introduce diseases into endemic fauna populations.
Introduced predators such as foxes and feral cats, along with loss of habitat, are key factors in the decline of native mammals and animals including ground nesting birds, pythons and other reptiles. Since European settlement, Western Australia (WA) has
It is not known what the full impact of the loss of these particular species has been on WA's environment. The extinction or decline of any species is of great concern for a range of environmental, amenity and ethical reasons.
Below are some resources, information and tips on managing some of the pests, invasive animals, diseases and weeds in our City.
The European Wasp (Vespula germanica) is native to Europe, Northern Africa and temperate Asia and has become established in many other
places around the world. Outside its natural habitat, it is a serious social, environmental and agricultural pest.
While it can be found in some parts of Australia and fertilised wasp queens are reaching Western Australia, every sighting in Western Australia has been successfully eradicated so far.
European Wasps are aggressive scavenging and predatory pests that live in rural and urban areas. They are opportunistic and feed upon fruit, human and pet food, insects and carrion.
The European Wasp is a declared pest under the Biosecurity and Agriculture Management Act 2007 and must be reported for eradication if found in Western Australia. They can be distinguished from native wasps by their behaviour (such as scavenging on human food and drinks and pet food, flying in and out of a single hole in the ground and flying
with raised legs) and distinctive physical characteristics (including black antennae).
The European wasp surveillance and eradication program (Adopt-a-trap) is coordinated by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development
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.
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 Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPRID).
Rainbow lorikeets (Trichoglossus haematodus) were introduced into Western Australia during the 1960s and are well established in Perth.
They can compete with other species for food and nest sites, cause damage to backyard and commerical fruit crops, and foul outdoor areas. They also carry Psittacine beak and feather disease which poses a potential disease risk to wild and captive parrots.
All lorikeet management activities must comply with the Animal Welfare Act 2002, which requires that pest animals are handled
and killed humanely. Only competent persons should undertake control activities, all other persons should seek veterinary or other expert assistance
The Black Rat (Rattus rattus) is an introduced pest found throughout Australia and can infest residential and agricultural areas and transmit disease.
Often found in urban environments, Black Rats are versatile and may be found in buildings (in walls or ceilings, under floors and behind or under cupboards and bathtubs), in sheds, rubbish heaps, wood piles, thick vegetation and animal enclosures. They
feed on rubbish, human and pet food, compost, fallen fruit and dog faeces.
Under public and environmental health legislation, it is the responsibility of owners and occupiers of premises to prevent rodents from living and breeding on their property.
There are a number of things people can do to avoid rodent problems including:
A broad Black Rat control program may include chemical control, trapping and poison baiting.
As part of a broader control program, the use of some chemicals can be effective. The City recommends being mindful if choosing a rodenticide as some anticoagulant (blood thinning) rodenticides (rat and mouse poisons) can take a long time to break down, causing secondary poisoning to pets and
wildlife, such as hawks and owls, that eat the poisoned rats.
Products containing brodifacoum, bromadialone and difethialone should be avoided as they are long-lasting second generation products and are much more likely to unintentionally poison wildlife. Warfarin and coumatetralyl are “first generation”
anticoagulant rodenticides which break down much faster and are less likely to cause secondary poisoning. Check the ‘Active Constituent’ on the labelling of baits to find which rodenticide it contains. Be sure to follow the directions
on the label to help reduce the risk of unintentionally poisoning wildlife and pets.
Choose a trap suitable for Black Rats as traps often vary is size and strength. Multiple traps used at once are more effective. Traps should be checked daily.
Speak to a licence pest control operator if you have any questions regarding the control of Black Rats.
The European Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) is a native of south-western Europe and was introduced to Australia with the First Fleet in 1788. It was the fastest spread of a colonising mammal anywhere in the world, soon followed by the European
Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes) using the rabbit as a reliable and abundant source of food.
In Western Australia, rabbits are declared pests under the Biosecurity and Agriculture Management (BAM) Act 2007
requiring landholders to control rabbits on their properties.
Rabbits have a significant impact on the environment by grazing native plants, particularly threatened plants and communities, and competing with native animals
for food and habitat.
Federal, state and local governments are working to control wild rabbit populations through the release of Rabbit Calicivirus Disease (RCD), a biological control agent. The virus is spread from rabbits through mosquitos and other vectors such as fleas
and flies. The virus is specific to the European rabbit and will not affect any other animals.
The City of Kalamunda will complement the Nation-wide RCD control initiative by the release of the current strain of RCD (RHDV1 K5) in mid-December 2018.
RCD is a biological control agent of the European rabbit in Australia and is spread from rabbits through mosquitos and other vectors such as fleas and flies. The virus is specific to the European rabbit and will not affect any other animals.
Other government agencies outside of the City of Kalamunda may undertake rabbit control programs, including the release of RCD, at their own discretion. Given the virus is spread through mosquitos and other vectors such as fleas and flies, the risk of
a rabbit contracting the virus could exist at any given time.
To assist with monitoring of the program, the community is encouraged to report deceased rabbits or any other rabbit activity using RabbitScan or via the PestSmart website and app.
Effective rabbit control is achieved by using a combination of control measures and persistence.
When controlling rabbits, it is important to ensure native wildlife are not harmed and native vegetation, culturally significant areas and/or waterways are protected. If the control involves the use of chemicals, all applicable requirements of the
Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Control of Use) Regulations 2006 must be met.
Control methods may include:
If you are the owner of a domestic rabbit, you are urged to ensure their vaccinations are up to date to protect them from contracting the virus. New recommendations suggest that pet owners should ensure their rabbit is immunised every six months. If you are unsure of your rabbit’s vaccination history or would like more information about the vaccination, please contact your vet.
The red fox (Vulpes vulpes) is a native of the northern hemisphere. Since establishing in the Australian wild in the 1870s, the fox has contributed to the decline and extinction of more mammals than anywhere else in the world.
Our native mammals most at risk of easy prey of foxes are small and medium-sized animals weighing 35 grams to 5.5 kilograms (kg). In the City of Kalamunda, the following fauna vulnerable to fox predation are threatened species under either the Federal
Environmental Biodiversity and Conservation Act or the WA Wildlife Conservation Act:
Other species not listed under these acts but also vulnerable to foxes include:
Fox numbers are estimated at one (1) to 10 or more foxes per square kilometer and it is thought that they may travel 10 kilometers out of their home territory. Foxes have a diverse diet including fruit and insects, preferring ground dwelling animals.
They are agile and proficient at climbing structures and trees, much like a cat.
A female fox will mate once per year in winter producing four to six cubs after a five-week gestation period. The semi-mature adults leave the den and secure new territory in Autumn and are sexually mature at one year old.
Fozes are excellent predators and a major economic threat to agriculture in Australia. Foxes prey on domesticated rabbits, lambs, goats, poultry, other new born livestock and pets. They can carry diseases and mange to domestic and agricultural animals,
and to humans.
Foxes also spread weed seeds from plants such as Blackberry, a Weed of national Significance.
Under WA’s Biosecurity and Agricultural Management Act 2007 (the Act) foxes are a declared pest and must be controlled by reducing numbers
and distribution across the state to alleviate harmful impacts. It is the responsibility of all land owners and managers to control foxes found on their land.
Outside of the City’s obligation under the Biosecurity and Agriculture Management Act 2007, the primary reason for undertaking a fox control program is to reduce the negative impact on the native fauna populations in bushland reserves of
the City. Due to the City's predominate urban setting and proximity of natural reserves, foxes can be difficult to control as poison baits are not appropriate and foxes will live on lands owned by various agencies and people.
The most effective control is achieved during late winter and spring. At this time the mature breeding foxes are less mobile due to rearing young. At other times there is increased likelihood of capturing young animals, rather than mature adults. The
removal of only young foxes may not result in a reduction in the overall population of foxes, as young fox numbers are substantially reduced in the first year as a result of food competition and predation.
Fox activity reported by residents is substantiated by setting remote cameras in reserves close to sightings. If foxes are observed by the cameras, a licensed professional pest animal contractor is engaged to use prescribed methods to control the foxes.
Prescribed methods of fox control include:
1080, a Schedule 7 poison, and use and discharge of a firearm on public land in urban areas are not appropriate. Therefore, the City of Kalamunda employ physical den destruction and trapping methods in our urban and peri-urban localities.
Soft catch jawed traps and cage traps are the two methods that can be employed to capture and control foxes. The City of Kalamunda utilise the soft padded jaw traps as it is considered the method that is most efficient for our local conditions while having
the lowest impact on the catch and non-target species. Only a licenced operator may trap foxes and traps are placed in reserves no longer than 2 weeks for each campaign.
Soft catch jawed trapsThe use of soft catch jawed traps is regulated by the Animal Welfare Act 2002 and Animal Welfare (General) Regulations 2003 and
can only be used if the jaws are padded and modified so that the captured animal is unlikely to suffer significant injury. Under the Biosecurity and Agriculture Management Act 20007, a
permit from Department of Industries and Regional Development (Agriculture and Food) is required to use soft catch jawed traps.
To minimise risks of off target capture, the minimum number of traps per trapping site are set. The traps are strategically located to minimise risk of capturing non-target species such as domestic dogs and other West Australian wildlife. Areas deemed
too unsafe to trap due to risk of non-target capture, or high traffic areas are avoided.
Warning signs are erected at all entrances to the reserve. The signs warn of trapping being undertaken and that dogs must be kept on lead. In closer proximity to the traps further signs are erected stating that dogs are prohibited past that point for
the duration of the trapping period. Trapped foxes are euthanized on site and disposed of at a registered disposal site.
Licenced operators provide advice to the Department on target species (foxes) and non-target species (domestic and native animal) catches. Of the catches in the Perth metropolitan area 1% were dogs, 4.3% were cats and less than 1% each rabbits and birds.
Of those animals caught in the soft jawed traps, 97.3% suffered nil to minor injury no greater than slight swelling. Less than moderate injury without broken bones and sometimes including teeth or gum damage is encountered less than 3% of the time. There
were no reports of moderate, severe or extreme rated injuries involving tissue, tendon or bone damage, large cuts or lacerations.
All contractors engaged by the City are required to provide job safety analyses that detail all risks and associated management measures for people and the catch. The City seeks to ensure that all relevant Acts, regulations, guidelines and best practice
are complied with for the works.
Cage traps: Whilst cage traps pose a lower risk to domestic animals than foot-hold traps, the use of cage traps on foxes dramatically reduces the capture rates on foxes compared to foot-hold traps. Few foxes are caught in cage
traps (Saunders and McLeod 2007). Cage traps tend only to catch young foxes and only after much free feeding.
Den destruction: Where active fox dens are found, they are broken open and filled. Unused and inactive fox dens are GPS logged and checked as part of the on-going program. Some local governments will fumigate active dens where it is appropriate.
If you have an issue with a fox on your property please contact a pest control operator who will determine the best method of control suited to your local environment and the associated cost.
Foxes in the City most often become a problem later in the year when young foxes are dispersing. To ensure your poultry is not harmed, killed or taken by foxes, make sure they are kept in a secure pen.
Feral cats (Felis catus) are found in most habitats across Australia. They threaten the survival of many native animals and have contributed to the extinction some mammals and ground-dwelling birds. They can also carry and spread infectious diseases
to native animals, livestock and humans.
Feral and domestic cats are the same species however in the wild cats survive by hunting and scavenging and are usually solitary and nocturnal. They are carnivorous and have a broad diet which depends of prey availability of small mammals, birds, reptiles,
amphibians, fish and insects.
Feral cats have been declared as pests by the Meeting of Environment Ministers (Melbourne, 15 July 2015) which also started the process of removing unnecessary barriers to effective and humane control of feral cats. It was agreed that feral cat management
is a priority in threatened species recovery programs, and to pursue the development of a national best practice approach to the keeping of domestic cats.
Most bee swarms occur during Spring as they hunt for a new nesting sites. Swarms usually last only a day or two before flying off in search of 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 information page produced by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPRID).
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 Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPRID).
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 150 millimetres (mm) to prevent it providing
a breeding site for flies. Allowing flies to breed is an offence
For further information please refer to Compost, Manure and Flies information page or the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPRID).
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.
The Stable Fly Action Group website has more information on managing Stable Flies.
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.
For more information please refer to the City’s Mosquito Control Information Sheet. For more information on
Ross River and Barmah Forest Virus please refer to the Department of Health's
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:
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 Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPRID).
Below is a list of Information Sheets for other domestic pests. Further information on common pests is available from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPRID).
Quickly identify pests and report your observations instantly to the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Western Australia.
Find some external resources related to pests, weeds and diseases below
Phytophthora dieback (Phytophthora cinnamomi) is a devastating plant pathogen which kills susceptible
plants by attacking their root systems and stopping the uptake of water and nutrients. Symptoms are wilting, yellowing and retention of dried foliage and darkening of root colour. It is spread through the movement of soil, mud, water and root-to-root
contact between plants and is often transported by human activities. There is no cure.
Over 40% of Western Australian native flora and half of the endangered species in the South West are susceptible, including Banksias, Jarrah and Grass Trees. Many agricultural crops and garden plants can also be infected. Dieback is often hard to detect
as plants appear to be dying from drought.
Dieback has been found across the South West in many national parks, nature reserves and metropolitan bushlands and has the potential to devastate bushland and change lanscapes. There are also flow-on effects to animals such as habitat change and the
reduced food availability.
Preventing the spread of dieback is key to managing the impacts of the disease on bushland. Dieback is usually spread through human activity, which moves infected soil via vehicles, equipment and foowear. Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (Parks and Wildlife) have the following recommendations to prevent the spread of dieback include:
Two methods used for active Dieback control within City reserves includes spraying phosphite over understorey plants and injecting phosphite into dieback susceptible trees.
Friends Groups and private landholders can loan equipment from the City to treat Dieback. The City can also provide information and demonstration of treatment methods as requested.
The Dieback Working Group and the City of Kalamunda (formerly the Shire) have produced a video that outlines the steps involved in undertaking phospite stem injection to trees at risk from dieback. Featuring Glenn Tuffnell from Dieback Treatment
Services, this video is an excellent resource for bushcare volunteers and students to learn how to undertake Phosphite Stem-injection.
A weed is a plant that is not native to an area and has the potential to dominate and out compete our native species. Most of the plants that are now weeds in Western Australia (WA) were introduced deliberately, as garden ornamentals, pastures or food
crops. Many of the weeds in WA come from Europe, South Africa, the Americas and eastern Australia.
Environmental weeds that compete with and displace local endemic plant species are a significant threat to natural areas. Weeds compete with local endemic plant species for space and light and deprive local fauna of suitable habitat. Controlling weeds
in natural areas is a significant cost to the management of these natural areas.
Approximately 197 weed species known to occur within the City of Kalamunda. The top ten priority weeds for the City of Kalamunda are:
On 1 June 1999 the inaugural list of 20 Weeds of National Significance (WoNS) was announced jointly by Commonwealth Ministers with a further 12 being added in 2012. The 32 Weeds of National Significance (WoNS) have been identified by Australian governments
based on their invasiveness, potential for spread and environmental, social and economic impacts.
The following weeds of national significance known to exist in the City of Kalamunda are:
Many hardy and water wise garden plants can become weeds in local bushland areas. Some of these introduced plants have been promoted for use in gardens because of their low maintenance and water-wise properties. These plants have typically originated
in other parts or the world where there is a similar climate however, without any of the diseases or predators (such as insects that eat their seeds) that keep them in control in their natural environment, these plants have thrived and spread into
areas where they are not wanted such as bushland and neighbours’ properties.
The City of Kalamunda and its many bushland reserves and water courses are vulnerable to invasion of these plants. Garden Plants known to impact these areas include:
Once a weed become established in an area, it is difficult to eradicate, expensive and requires more resources - prevention is the most effective method of dealing with weeds.
Some bushland weeds have escaped from gardens and due to their hardiness and fast growth, they are quick to establish and out-compete our endemic plants. Some native alternatives to garden plants with weed potential include:
Our Planting Guide contains some tips on how to ensure the success of planting native
Measures to help prevent garden plants escaping and becoming environmental weeds include:
Our Garden Escapees guide has more information on weeds and native alternatives.
The City controls weeds and carries out revegetation to eradicate invasive species and has a full time Bush Care Officer who undertakes on-ground weed control activities as well as providing valuable technical advice and on ground assistance to the many
Friends Groups in the City.
The method of weed control varies with the species being targeted and the amount of resources available. Integrated weed management through a long-term approach and using several techniques is best.
Prior to undertaking weed control, it is important to properly identify the species.
View some references and plant alternatives to assist in identification of weeds here.
It is a good idea to establish a field herbarium (i.e. a collection of pressed plants) of weed species as an ongoing reference.
An integrated weed management plan or strategy reduces the chance that weed species will adapt to the control techniques and will consider the most economical and effective control of the weeds and include ecological considerations. It will work to reduce
the extent of weeds and reduce the weed seed stock in the soil without degrading native ecology or agricultural potential.
Before using chemical control, please make sure the weed is identified correctly, an appropriate product is chosen, and this applied at the correct application rate using the safety measures recommended.
Department of Primary Industries & Regional Development
Department of Biodiversity, Conservation & Attractions