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.

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.

  • Common containers around our homes which collect rainwater or water from reticulation systems, can become suitable habitats for mosquito breeding.  The mosquito species that breeds in these containers is a known transmitter of the Ross River Virus disease.

    There are hundreds of other species of mosquitos which breed in other water bodies, such as road drains, septic tanks, disused swimming pools, saltmarshes…….etc…. Some of these species also can transmit Ross River Virus. 

    It is important for all of us to do what we can to minimise mosquito breeding in order to reduce their

    Common containers around our homes which collect rainwater or water from reticulation systems, can become suitable habitats for mosquito breeding.  The mosquito species that breeds in these containers is a known transmitter of the Ross River Virus disease.

    There are hundreds of other species of mosquitos which breed in other water bodies, such as road drains, septic tanks, disused swimming pools, saltmarshes…….etc…. Some of these species also can transmit Ross River Virus. 

    It is important for all of us to do what we can to minimise mosquito breeding in order to reduce their impact on our health and lifestyle.

    Eliminate Breeding

    Mosquitoes breed in standing water. For example, pot plant trays, bird baths, water tanks, domestic ponds and roof gutters.  To prevent them breeding in your backyard try the following:

    • Get rid of containers which hold water;
    • Keep mosquito-eating fish, like gold fish and pygmy perch, in garden ponds and eliminate vegetation around the edges of the pond;
    • Keep swimming pools well chlorinated, filtered and free of dead leaves;
    • Fill or drain depressions in the ground that hold water;
    • Ensure the vent pipes on your septic tank systems are fitted with mosquito proof cowls. Seal all gaps in the lid and ensure leach drains are completely covered;
    • Fit rainwater tanks with insect-proof mesh, including inlet, overflow and inspection ports. Also ensure your guttering is water-free;
    • Empty pot plant drip trays once a week or fill them with sand; and
    • Empty and clean animal and pet drinking water weekly.

    Diseases

    Two of the most common mosquito-borne viruses in WA are Ross River Virus (RRV) and Barmah Forest Virus (BFV).  Both viruses have similar symptoms and life cycles.

    Symptoms can vary between people and include painful and/or swollen joints, sore muscles, aching tendons, skin rashes, fever, tiredness, headaches and swollen lymph nodes. While there’s no treatment for either RRV or BFV, your doctor can provide some relief.  You can find out more about these and other mosquito-borne diseases on this Department of Health website.

    Our Control Program

    The Town of Bassendean is vigilant in the management of mosquito breeding and has a monitoring and control program in place. This program includes:

    • Routine monitoring of known salt marsh mosquito breeding sites;
    • Regular trapping of adult mosquitoes to gauge numbers;
    • Identification of mosquito species;
    • Treatment of mosquito breeding on public land;
    • Enforcement of local laws in relation to breeding on private property;
    • Investigation of complaints about excessive breeding;
    • Follow up questionnaires with residents who contract a mosquito-borne disease; and
    • Health promotion activities.

    The Town of Bassendean is also a member of the East Swan River CLAG with the Cities of Bayswater, Belmont and Swan and the Town of Victoria Park.  For more information on our mosquito  monitoring and control Program, have a look at our pamphlet. 

    ‘Fight the Bite’ mozzie campaign

    Launched in November 2016, the Fight the Bite campaign (Healthy WA) is aimed at reducing mosquito-borne diseases that afflict individuals, communities and the healthcare system.

    The three central messages are to:

    • cover up
    • repel (use repellent)
    • clean up areas around the home where mosquitoes can breed.

    Take Survey
  • 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.  Here’s an infosheet to assist you with identifying which rat has taken up residency at your property. 

    • 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.

    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.  Here’s an infosheet to assist you with identifying which rat has taken up residency at your property. 

    • 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.

    Eradication

    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

    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.


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  • Midges are small, gnat-like insects often found near wetlands.  Non-biting midges don’t carry disease, but can cause a nuisance in residential areas, due to their attraction to lights. Midges can swarm in large numbers. However, these mating swarms are usually short-lived and tend to disperse within a few days.  As midges are not disease carriers, Health Services do not treat for them.

    Midges are small, gnat-like insects often found near wetlands.  Non-biting midges don’t carry disease, but can cause a nuisance in residential areas, due to their attraction to lights. Midges can swarm in large numbers. However, these mating swarms are usually short-lived and tend to disperse within a few days.  As midges are not disease carriers, Health Services do not treat for them.

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  • 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:

    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.

    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 and Food Team have put together a fantastic range of information on identifying and 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!


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