Insects & Rodents
The Shire provides general advice to persons with pest control problems, however are not experts and as such an appropriately qualified Pest Control Operator or the Agricultural Department of Western Australia should be contacted for advice. The following information is provided to assist you with any pests you may have encountered:
- European Wasps
- Paper Wasps
- Identification of pests and diseases
- Other pests
Bee swarms occur when a nest becomes overcrowded as the queen and a large number of bees leave to set up a new nest. A stationary bee swarm (on a tree for example) is resting and is harmless if left alone as resting bee swarms usually move on within 24 hours. Should a bee swarm be in an inconvenient place and causes you concern you should contact a pest control operator.
It is common for Paper Wasps to be mistaken for European Wasps, as they are both black and yellow in colour. European Wasp nests are typically located in such places as pampas grass, kindling boxes, in weatherboard housing, under floor boards and in the ground.
Remember do not disturb a nest yourself, always seek professional advice. If you have come across a nest refer ALL suspect wasp sightings to:
- Agriculture Protection Board
- Baron-Hay Court
- South Perth, Western Australia, 6151.
- Phone (08) 9368 3472 or (08) 9453 2119 (all hours), or any country office of the department of Agriculture.
Paper wasps are longer than a bee but look similar to the European Wasp with their orange and black antennae tips. Paper wasps also fly with their back legs dangling down rather than European wasps which fly with their legs held close to their body. Paper Wasps can be treated by the householder or a Pest Control officer but nests need to be naturally located first. This can be done by following drinking wasps back from water (e.g from a pond or water feature).
Be careful when dealing with wasp nests as all wasps will sting repeatedly if they are approached during the day. If you really need to spray the nest, wait until after dark before spraying nests with fly spray. If you do choose to spray the nest you will have to be careful of dead or half dead wasps on the ground.
Cockroaches are a major health hazard in food areas as they spread food poisoning organisms. Their small size and shape means they are able to hide in small cracks and crevices and only need a small opening to gain access to a kitchen or food store.
The most important way to control cockroaches is to keep your premises clean and tidy while also making sure all cracks and crevices in walls, ceilings, floors, etc are sealed to prevent cockroach entry.
It is important to have regular treatment, either by obtaining the services of a pest control company or by laying baits and spraying residual insecticides around the areas they live.
Rats and mice are pests, which carry diseases like salmonella, typhus and ringworm. They spread disease by feeding and urinating on stored products and contaminating food with their droppings. Naturally rats and mice live and nest in buildings where they have access to food, shelter and water however they also nest indoors in wall cavities, under floors and in stored food supplies.
Their sharp teeth enable them to gnaw through aluminium, lead, wood and cardboard, causing damage to insulation cabling, electrical wiring, wood and other material hence they can be a very big pest. Rodents are creatures of habit and tend to use the same routes of travel to and from food sources for as long as possible and are also most active at night, so this is why they can often be heard in roof and wall cavities.
Evidence of their presence will include droppings, stains from urination and greasy marks along their paths. The most common method of cracking down on rodents in your home or business involves baiting areas where they travel including wall cavities, ceilings, underneath floors, and along the top of fences.
Sending specimens for identification to the Department of Agriculture
Correct identification is central to effective control of pests and diseases. The process of identifying pests can be made easier if the specimens are freshly gathered and are undamaged. Simply mail the specimen to:
- Department of Agriculture
- Pest and Disease Information Service
- 3 Baron Hay Court
- SOUTH PERTH WA 6151
It is important to not mail specimens on a Thursday or Friday. This avoids deterioration while in transit over a weekend. You should also provide; the locality where the specimens were collected, the date when collected, the name of the collector and a contact telephone number, and a description of the damage caused or other reason for submitting the sample.
For details on how to collect the sample visit the Department of Agriculture’s website www.agric.wa.gov.au and locate the Gardennote fact sheet (GN08) titled, Sending specimens for identification.
For more information on other common insects around the home visit the Department of Agriculture’s website www.agric.wa.gov.au:
- Common spiders
- European House Borers
- Itch mites