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 floorboards and in the ground.
Remember, do not disturb a nest yourself, always seek professional advice. The public is urged to report any sightings to the Pest and Disease Information Service on Freecall 1800 084 881 (during normal office hours) Monday to Friday, 8am-5pm.
European Wasp Enquiries and Identification Services
Department of Agriculture and Food WA
3 Baron-Hay Court
SOUTH PERTH WA 6151
The European Wasp Identification Guide can be found on the Department of Agriculture and Food website.
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, whereas European wasps 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 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, so they can create serious problems. Rodents are creatures of habit and tend to use the same routes of travel to and from food sources for as long as possible. They are also most active at night, which 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.
Free rat and mice baits
Limited amounts of rat and mice bait can be obtained free of charge at the City's Administration Building.
European House Borer
European House Borer is an introduced pest that affects dry seasoned softwoods (including pine, fir and spruce). The borer has been found in dead wood in pine plantations (such as the since-removed plantation on the corner of Sixty Eight and Eighty Roads, Baldivis) throughout the metropolitan area - see the site maps on the Department of Agriculture and Food website.
Consequently, there has been an area identified and mapped by the Department of Agriculture for control purposes, such as the restriction of transporting and disposing of pine products (including construction timber and off-cuts, furniture) and preventing the use of susceptible timbers as structural members in building work.
For more information and advice, particularly with the zones concerned, and disposal requirements, visit the Department of Agriculture and Food website or phone 1800 084 881 or contact the City's Building Services.
Portuguese Millipedes are common in the southern suburbs and normally emerge at the start of spring and again at the start of autumn. They are not harmful to humans but can be a pest if they invade houses, as they are attracted to light at night. They normally live in plant debris and feed on decaying wood and leaf matter on the ground. Cleaning up plant and leaf debris will assist in reducing the number of Portuguese Millipedes. There are a number of physical and chemical controls that you can also use. For more information please refer to Garden Note No.2 on Portuguese Millipedes on the Department of Agriculture and Food website.